Three men from Warrington have been jailed after officers found a large quantity of cannabis in a house they were in when it was raided.
Acting on information received from members of the public, officers executed a warrant at the property on Portland Road, Warrington, at around 8.15am on Friday 8 February.
After forcing entry to the house, they found several different types and preparations of cannabis in various rooms, as well as drug paraphernalia including scales, bags and labels.
The cannabis and cannabis resin seized from the property weighed more than 32 kilograms and had a street value of around £325,000.
Daniel Cooke-McGuinness, 28, James Frangleton, 36, and Craig Burns, 58, were all inside the house when it was raided by officers.
They were immediately arrested and more cannabis was found following subsequent searches of Frangleton’s van parked outside and Burns’ home on Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, Warrington.
Cooke-McGuinness initially claimed that he had gone to the house on Portland Road to buy drugs for personal use, despite having no money on him at the time of the raid.
Frangleton told officers during questioning that he had gone inside merely to accompany his boss Cooke-McGuinness after being asked to give him a lift there.
However, after hearing all of the evidence that officers had gathered against them, Cooke-McGuinness and Frangleton both pleaded guilty to a charge of being concerned in the supply of cannabis at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday 18 July.
Burns admitted a lesser charge of possession with intent to supply the class B drug.
They returned to the court for sentencing today, Friday 16 August.
Cooke-McGuinness, of Kiveton Walk, Warrington, was also sentenced for two counts of possession with intent to supply class B drugs (cannabis and cannabis resin). These charges related to a raid at an address in Gloucester Road, Liverpool, that was executed by Merseyside Police officers on 30 July 2017.
He was jailed for a total of four years and three months for his offences.
Frangleton, of Simkin Avenue, Latchford, Warrington, was handed a prison sentence of three years and two months.
Burns was ordered to serve two years in prison.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Vicky Hancox, of Warrington Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “This case shows that the police will act upon intelligence provided by the public in a bid to catch those involved in the supply of illegal drugs in Warrington and make them face the consequences of their actions.
“Illegal drugs have a detrimental impact on communities. As such, removing them and those involved in supplying them from our town is of vital importance.
“There were no signs of anyone living in the house on Portland Road – there was no food in the fridge and beds had not been set up in the bedrooms.
“The property was instead being used to prepare large quantities of cannabis and cannabis bush to be sold on our streets.
“We seized more than £300,000 worth of class B drugs from the house.
“I am delighted that we have prevented those drugs from reaching the streets.
“I am also pleased that Daniel Cooke-McGuinness, James Frangleton and Craig Burns have now been punished for the drug offences they committed and I would like to thank the members of the community who informed us of suspected illegal drug activity at the address.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “This operation took a significant quantity of drugs off our streets and shows the dedication of officers in tackling organised crime to protect vulnerable people in our communities.
“It also demonstrates the importance of intelligence from local communities in bringing drugs gangs to justice.
“I encourage any Cheshire resident who has any concerns about this type of harmful activity in their community to come forward to police with any information they have.
“This could make a real difference in removing serious crime from our communities to make Cheshire even safer.”
Chief Inspector Simon Meegan, of Warrington LPU, added: “I would like to thank all the officers involved in the case for their work in securing these convictions.
“While this investigation has now concluded, our fight against those who blight our neighbourhoods with illegal drugs continues.
“I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to contact us at Cheshire Constabulary. Your concerns will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.
“Together we can stop those who damage our communities through the supply of illegal drugs.”
You can report suspected illegal drug activity to Cheshire Constabulary directly by calling 101. Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.