Drugs gang who targeted Scarborough jailed for almost 20 years

Top l to r: Sonny Elms, Drew McCormick, Jack Ashcroft. Bottom l to r: Paul Heaton, Blaise Woolfe and Jamie McKenna.
Top l to r: Sonny Elms, Drew McCormick, Jack Ashcroft. Bottom l to r: Paul Heaton, Blaise Woolfe and Jamie McKenna.
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Members of a criminal gang from Manchester who conspired to peddle class A drugs in Scarborough have been jailed for almost 20 years following an investigation.

Detectives said the sentences send out a “very strong message” that distance is not a barrier in tackling crime.

The gang was brought to justice following an extensive investigation that lasted more than three years and saw North Yorkshire Police work closely with officers in Manchester.

Detectives pieced together a web of evidence, including complicated mobile phone information, to build up a picture of how the organised crime group operated.

Five members of the gang were sentenced at York Crown Court on Wednesday (1 February 2017) for their roles.

Four pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs, namely cocaine, and one admitted being concerned in their supply. The offences took place in 2013 and 2014.

A further two members, who were both convicted of conspiracy to supply, failed to attend court and warrants have been issued for their arrest.

North Yorkshire Police Detective Sergeant Ryan Chapman, who led the case, said after the sentencing: “This gang looked to target vulnerable people in Scarborough without any care for the damage drugs cause.

“Drugs ruin communities – they harm people, they harm businesses, they harm tourism and they put a huge burden on community facilities such as healthcare.

“These sentences send a very strong message that Scarborough is in no way a soft touch when it comes to crime and we will take action, regardless of how far away criminals operate from or where they are based. Distance is not a barrier for us.

“I’m delighted with the sentences that have been handed to these individuals. It shows that the courts are as keen to get these offenders out of circulation as we are, which helps us continue to tackle the drug-related crime that blights communities.”

The defendants are:

Jack Ashcroft, 28, of Dean Brook Close, Manchester - jailed for six years, three months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Blaise Woolfe, 25, of Stockton Drive, Failsworth, Manchester - jailed for four-and-a-half years being concerned in the supply of class A drugs

Ashley Farnell, 22, of The Fairway, New Moston, Manchester - jailed for three years, four months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Drew McCormick, 20, of Lynthorpe Road, Manchester - jailed for two-and-a-half years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Jamie McKenna, 19, of Edgeware Road, Oldham - jailed for one-and-a-half years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Sonny Elms, 24, of Mansfield Road, Manchester and Paul Heaton, 26, of Sidney Road, Manchester were both convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. They did not attend court and warrants have been issued for their arrest.