Drugs gang sentenced to almost 50 years in prison Date published: 21st September 2018 4.37pm

A gang who flooded the streets of Ellesmere Port with crack cocaine and heroin have today (Friday 21 September) been sentenced to a total of 47 years and three months in prison.

A total of nine men and a 16-year-old boy were jailed following a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.

Eight of the men and the teenager had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The ninth man, Anthony Atkins, was found guilty of the same offence at an earlier hearing.

One of the gang members, Liam Quinn, was also found guilty of possession with intent to supply cocaine, MDMA and ketamine.

Another gang member, Ricky Thompson, also admitted a charge of possession with intent to supply cocaine, MDMA and ketamine.

The ring leaders of the gang, Anthony Atkins and Billy Neil, oversaw the operation, directing significant associates Kalib Morris, Andrew Bebbington and Liam Quinn to manage phone lines – known as grafts – to advertise the sale of crack cocaine and heroin.

Street dealers Joshua Quinn, Gerard Privilege, Wade Smith and a 16-years-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, supplied class A drugs on the streets of Ellesmere Port to numerous drug users.

On one occasion Morris was seen exchanging drugs in a children’s play area in Ellesmere Port while Neil sat on a bench nearby overseeing the activity.

In December 2017, following an investigation known as Operation Masterclass, officers executed 11 search warrants at addresses in Ellesmere Port and Merseyside.

Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, of Ellesmere Port CID, said: “I hope the significant sentences handed to these men will provide reassurance to residents who have been affected by their actions which have blighted the local community.

"This was an extensive and complex investigation which clearly showed Akins and Neil as the senior members of an organised crime group. These men have a clear disregard for the law.

"Today justice has been served and alongside the Crown Prosecution Service we have ensured that these individuals who engage themselves in serious and organised crime have been taken off the streets of Ellesmere Port.”