Police operation sees drugs ring smashed

Newcastle Crown Court. Picture c/o Google Images.
Newcastle Crown Court. Picture c/o Google Images.

A drugs ring has been smashed thanks to work between police, council and the community.

A total of 12 people pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to a range of drug offences as part of an Operation targeting drug supply in North Tyneside.

Iain Kennedy who was jailed for five years fo conspiracy to supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine).

Iain Kennedy who was jailed for five years fo conspiracy to supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine).

Operation Orion was a community led operation targeting the supply of Class A drugs, heroin and cocaine in North Tyneside.

It also focused on the resulting crimes drugs users resorted to, to pay for their habit.

The coordinated approach saw officers working closely with partners including the local authority and Whitley Bay Community Task Force.

Police carried out raids searching 22 address across North Tyneside and Newcastle in two days of coordinated strikes during last May.

Kevin Hodgeson was jailed for five years for conspiracy to supply Class A drug (Cocaine), possession of Class C drugs (Anabolic Steroids) and three counts of supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine).

Kevin Hodgeson was jailed for five years for conspiracy to supply Class A drug (Cocaine), possession of Class C drugs (Anabolic Steroids) and three counts of supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine).

As a result of this activity police seized £10,273 in cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and 30 people were arrested for offences including supplying drugs, burglary, theft from vehicles and handling stolen goods.

Officers seized heroin with a street value of over £6,000 and cocaine with a street value of over £1,350 was also recovered along with other drugs.

Iain Kennedy, 31, of Means Drive, Burradon, was charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine); sentenced to five years in prison.

Kevin Hodgeson, 31, of Links Road, Cullercoats, was charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine), Possession of Class C drugs (Anabolic Steroids) and three counts of Supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine); also being sentenced to five years.

Kevin Turner was jailed for 16 months for eight counts of Supply Class A drug (Heroin).

Kevin Turner was jailed for 16 months for eight counts of Supply Class A drug (Heroin).

Kevin Turner, 30, of Springwell Avenue, Newcastle, was charged with eight counts of Supply Class A drug (Heroin); sentenced to 16 months jail.

Colin Devlin, 40, of South Parade, Whitley Bay, was charged with five counts of being concerned in the Supply of Class B drug (Cannabis) and five counts of handling stolen goods and handed a sentence of 16 months suspended for 24 months.

Michael Anderson, 24, of Cambridge Avenue, Whitley Bay, was charged with five counts of supplying Class B drug (Cannabis) and two counts of handling stolen goods; given a sentence of 62 weeks suspended for 18 months.

Holly Watson, 25, of Means Drive, Burradon, was charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and given a sentence of 9 month suspended for 12 months.

Michael Latimer, 29, of Garleigh Close, Killingworth, was charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine) and sentenced to 24 months suspended for 24 months.

Shaun Robertson, 33, of Saker Place, Wallsend, was charged with three counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin), Possession Class A drug (Heroin) and Offering to Supply Class C drug Valium and given a sentence of 15 months suspended for 18 months.

William Gordon, 30, of East View Terrace, Dudley, was charged with two counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 15 months suspended for 18 months.

David Jackson, 28, of Church Street, Seaham, was charged with Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 15 months suspended for 18 months.

Clare Grieveson, 40, of Shields Road, Byker, was charged with three counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and one count of being concerned in Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months.

John Mills, 21, of Shields Road, Byker, was charged with two counts of being concerned in Supply of Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months.

Three other men caught as part of Operation Orion had already been sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court at an earlier date.

They were:

Stuart Richardson, 38, of Cambridge Avenue, Whitley Bay, who was charged with four counts of Supplying Class A drug (Cocaine) and sentenced to a total of 24 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Gavin Jones, 38, of Norfolk Street, Sunderland, was charged with supplying a Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

William Flynn, 36, of Newcastle Road, Newsham, Blyth, was charged with supplying a Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

After the hearing, Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt, of Northern Area Command, said: “This operation is an excellent example of how the local community and wider partnership can stand together to tackle complex issues of crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability.

“Operation Orion was instigated as a direct result of community feedback and the active involvement of the Whitley Bay Community Task was a key part of the operations success.

“Vulnerability is at the heart of everything we do and whilst one key part of the operation was to target the organised sale and distribution of class A drugs at the same time we were working with key partners to signpost and support users away from drug addiction, to target rogue landlords and problem premises.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “The Whitley Bay Community Task Force was set up in response to concerns among local residents and to improve quality of life for people in the town and make it a great place to live, work and visit.

“I was privileged to lead the task force and help carry out some great work with the community and our partners.

“Successful prosecutions of those involved in drug-related offences like these are a demonstration of the lasting impact of the excellent work we have done together, such as significantly reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.”