Members of a drugs production and supply gang that used a Sutton shop as a front for their operation have been jailed for a total of more than 100 years.
The ten men were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday for their part in conspiracies in the production of amphetamine, the supply of amphetamine and the supply of cocaine.
The court heard that the Protein Masters shop on King Street in Sutton town centre, owned by Anthony Donnelly (31), of Southwell Road West in Mansfield, was at the centre of the gang’s illegal activities.
The complex police investigation involved police forces across the East Midlands and the north of England, who seized kilos of amphetamine and cocaine as they unravelled the gang’s movements across the country.
Anthony Donnelly was found guilty after trial of conspiracy to supply amphetamine, but was not convicted of a charge of conspiracy to produce amphetamine.
Sentencing the gang, Judge James Sampson said he ‘rejected’ the submission by Donnelly’s defence team that he only let the Protein Masters shop be used for cutting amphetamine ready for supply on the streets on the occasion in July last year when it was raided by police, stating that he was at the top of the gang.
“Anthony Donnelly was overseeing the operation on what he thought was an undetectable phone from Spain,” the Judge said.
“He was intrinsically involved at what he thought was a safe distance on other dates,” he added.
Judge Sampson said that Donnelly had ‘extensive contact’ with other conspirators on drugs phones and that throughout the trial he lied to the jury.
He is an ‘arrogant and dishonest man and his word is worthless’, the Judge concluded.
Sentencing the men, Judge Sampson told them that they had been involved with ‘pernicious drugs’ which ‘blight’ the lives of those who come into contact with them and their families.
“All of you in various ways and to varying degrees were peddling misery in towns and cities in this country,” he said.
The amount of drugs seized and their purity were aggravating factors in the sentences, which were passed as follows:
Former soldier Ben Mullins (33), of Church Street, Ripley, who played a ‘leading role’ in the gang, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce amphetamine, conspiracy to supply amphetamine and conspiracy to supply cocaine. He was jailed for 18 years and eight months.
Anthony Donnelly was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
Daniel Robinson (30), of Paling Crescent, Sutton - found guilty after trial of conspiracy to produce amphetamine and conspiracy to supply cocaine. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Jailed for 17 years.
Craig Donnelly (23), of Barker Street, Huthwaite - found guilty after trial of conspiracy to produce amphetamine and conspiracy to supply cocaine. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Jailed for 17 years.
Michael Lawrence (25), of Victoria Street, Stanton Hill - pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing cannabis with intent to supply. Jailed for nine years.
Andrew Brimble (48), of Staffa Drive, Tibshelf - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Jailed for four years.
Richie Fido (29), of Broad Lane, Brinsley - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce and to supply amphetamine. Jailed for five years and four months.
Charles Corke (41), from Merseyside - found guilty after trial of conspiracy to produce amphetamine. Jailed for nine years.
Edward Taylor (30), of Ringlow Park, Swinton, Manchester - pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Jailed for 52 months.
Paul Critchlow (47), of Humberside - found guilty after trial of conspiracy to supply cocaine. Jailed for nine years.
All the defendants will serve at least half of their sentences before being considered for release.
Catherine Harpham (24), of Victoria Street, Stanton Hill, was found guilty after trial of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and sentenced earlier this month to 12 months in prison but released due to time served.
Joshua Patchett (29), of Station Road, Awsworth pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and will be sentenced on 10th September.