MEMBERS of a violent drugs gang which flooded the streets of Scarborough with heroin and crack cocaine have been jailed for a total of 22 years.
The illicit operation was run from Manchester and used local dealers in Scarborough to supply drugs to addicts in the town.
Scarborough men Stephen Lee, 46, from South Street, and 31-year-old Paul Rennie, of Grosvenor Terrace, were caged for four years, and three years and three months respectively.
The 34-year-old leader of the organised crime gang, Thomas Robert Hunt, of Manchester, received a six year sentence.
Adrian Hudson, 34, and Paul Newlove, 30, both from Manchester, received sentences of four years and 11 months and three years and seven months at York Crown Court yesterday.
The men had all admitted conspiring to supply Class A drugs in Scarborough.
Detective Sergeant Steve Paxton, of Scarborough CID, said: “I am very pleased with the sentences handed down by the court.
“The gang led by Hunt was utterly ruthless and showed a willingness to use violence to enforce drug debts.
“The terms of imprisonment send the very simple message that, if you think you can deal drugs and get away with it in North Yorkshire and the City of York, you can’t.”
The sentences mark the culmination of a complex investigation which began in 2009 after police discovered the group was bringing large quantities of heroin and crack to Scarborough.
The operation involved officers in CID, the safer neighbourhood team and the financial investigation unit.
It became evident that the group was prepared to use violence to enforce drug debts and intimidate users.
Over the course of the operation, heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of £15,000 and more than £12,000 in cash was seized.
The group led by Hunt was one of a number of gangs based in Moston, Manchester, operating nationally. Other forces investigating these gangs include Cumbria, Humberside, Devon & Cornwall, Avon & Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Merseyside and Sussex.