Grimsby man jailed for eight years for part in cocaine gang
THIS Grimsby man was the key link in a cocaine gang’s lucrative operation, a court heard.
The linchpin of the gang of 17 was Leslie Gray, 49, of Hope Street, who conspired with the other members to supply high-purity cocaine to drug users throughout Lincolnshire and the rest of the east of England.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Gray, a former fisherman, was the only one able to access the drugs when their other sources had dried up.
Gray was caught when police caught him with £10,000 in cash in the summer of 2011, and yesterday he was jailed for eight years after admitting his part in the conspiracy.
Fellow gang members were also locked up for more than 100 years in total, after being handed sentences ranging from four to 13 years.
They appeared in court as the culmination of a police operation codenamed Operation Latious, led by police officers from the East Midlands.
The men distributed vast quantities of cocaine on the streets of Lincolnshire between December 2010 and November 2011.
The prosecution told the court how the county-based organised crime group were extremely professional in the cutting, preparation and distribution of the drugs.
They were originally handling large quantities from a dealer in London before finally turning to Gray in Grimsby in August 2011, after all other supply networks had closed down.
The defendants were arrested during planned operations between September 2011 and May 2012. The other gang members were from the Boston and Peterborough areas.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Joe Elliott said: “This was a large and complex investigation and the arrest and conviction of these men has stopped the supply of large amounts of cocaine coming onto the streets of Lincolnshire. This was a sophisticated crime group who were making large amounts of money from their enterprise.”