Northwich drug dealers jailed following force-wide crackdown on Class A drugs (From Northwich Guardian)
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Northwich drug dealers jailed following force-wide crackdown on Class A drugs
SEVEN Northwich men have been jailed after they ‘preyed on vulnerable people’ with an addiction to crack cocaine and heroin.
Craig Wright, Peter Gibson, Mark ‘Carrot’ Higgins, John Bloor, Matthew Evans, Michael Smith and Michael Barrow were all handed custodial sentences at Chester Crown Court last week for the supply of Class A drugs.
They were arrested in May, along with 13 other men from Liverpool and Manchester, as part of Operation Karate – a series of dawn raids to target the suspected use and supply of drugs in Northwich and Merseyside.
His Honour Judge Trigger, who sentenced the men to a total of more than 76 years in prison and imposed confiscation orders of almost £30,000, said: “Streets were invaded by the pernicious tide of drugs in the thriving, law-abiding Cheshire town of Northwich.
“The parks and streets became saturated with the sordid trade of drug dealing.
“The police acted and thanks to their actions some of the anti-social behaviour and drug problems will be gone for some time.
“Those truly responsible are not in the dock. There would be no drug barons if it weren’t for the willing foot soldiers you were.
“You preyed on vulnerable people with the lethal and highly addictive drugs you pushed.”
Craig Wright, 40, of St John’s Close, Rudheath, was sentenced to five years and three months.
Peter Gibson, 53, of Highfield Place, was sentenced to four years and three months.
Mark Higgins, 38, of Beeston Street and John Bloor, 37, of Shurlach Road, Rudheath, were sentenced to three years.
Matthew Evans, 19, of Victoria Road was sentenced to two years and six months.
Michael Smith, 37, of Romanes Street, was sentenced to two years and three months, while Michael Barrow, 28, of Victoria Road, was sentenced to two years.
Following the sentencing, Sergeant Alex Jackson of Northwich NPT said: “This operation will send out two messages - those intent on causing misery dealing in drugs can be caught and imprisoned, and those decent members of society blighted by drug dealing in their neighbourhood will be supported.
“The public may not always see what the police are doing, but rest assured that activity is ongoing to curtail criminal behaviour.”
Inspector Paul Loughlin, added: “The operation delivers a clear message to local criminals that crime doesn’t pay. We will continue to target those who bring harm to the local community and will take robust action to ensure the residents of Northwich are kept safe."
A further five men from Manchester and eight men from Liverpool were also sentenced to jail time ranging from two years to five years and nine months.
They are Manchester residents Alfie Milligan, 24, Nico Erving, 18, Jervis Bailey, 34, Mark Duffy, 29, Neil Morris, 31 and Liverpool residents Mark Melia, 40, Anthony Barlow, 48, Michael Collier, 32, Richard Hughes, 30, Darren Ashcroft, 34, Dean Purvis, 24, Scott Powell, 20 and Sean Fagan, 20.
Five men remain on bail.