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Issue:- Monday, 20 June 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 5 news items.    Page - 4.

Merseyside and Chester Drug and Gun Gang have been Sentenced

MERSEYSIDE Police and Cheshire Constabulary have welcomed the sentences of 12 men and 1 woman, collectively for a total of 111.5 years imprisonment, for firearm and drug conspiracy Offences at Liverpool Crown Court, Tuesday, 14 June 2016. 

The charges relate to the investigations into drug supply in Cheshire and four shootings between September 2014 and April 2015 in the Speke, Whiston and Huyton areas of Merseyside.

31 year old David McMullan, from Huyton, was sentenced to 2 life imprisonments with a minimum term of 12.5 years for conspiracy to possess firearms and arson with intent to endanger life, and 4 years for blackmail, to run concurrently

31 year old Paul Remedios, from Widnes, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, 5 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, 5 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and 3 years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently

19 year old Callum Tombs, from Sutton Manor, was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms

33 year old Sean Smith, from Widnes, was sentenced to 6 1/2  years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms

27 year old Scott Smith, from  Widnes, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, 7 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, 5 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and 3 years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently

31 year old Victoria Galloway, from Widnes, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, 5 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply cocaine and 2 years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, to run concurrently

23 year old Kieran Blair of no fixed abode was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, 6 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, 6 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and 7 years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently

48 year old Andrew Hughes, from Widnes, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, 5 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, 5 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and 5 years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, all to run concurrently

26 year old Michael Loughran, from Runcorn, was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis

25 year old Stephen McCarten, from Runcorn, was sentenced to 3 1/2 years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine

21 year old Jordan Ferns, from Widnes, was sentenced to 2 years suspended for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine

19 year old Tyrone Grimes, from Widnes, was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for possession of a Taser, 18 months for conspiracy to supply cannabis and 6 months for bringing a prohibited article into prison, to run consecutively

27 year old Terence O'Donnell, from Liverpool, was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for assisting an offender

On April 23, 2015, a warrant was execution by Cheshire Constabulary, at a flat in Widnes, inside which an 'Aladdin's Cave' was discovered, including three firearms and drugs paraphernalia. A detailed forensic search was carried out at the property and numerous items were seized; this provided detectives with strong evidence that the flat was being used by an OCG for the supply of controlled drugs; and storage of a number of powerful weapons and viable ammunition.

Following forensic examination it was established that of the weapons recovered; a Glock, a Browning self loading pistol and a St Etienne French revolver; the Glock had been used in 4 drive by shootings in Merseyside, and the St Etienne revolver in 1 of these shootings.

The 1st shooting took place in Eastern Avenue, Speke, on 23 September 2014. 2 offenders arrived in the road on a scrambler bike at around 1.30pm and fired shots towards a man in the street, resulting in damage to a house.

The 2nd incident happened in Blundells Lane, Whiston, on 13 January, 2015. At around 8.00pm, a man was shot and injured as he walked along the road. He was taken to Whiston Hospital and found to have a bullet entry and exit wound over his right shoulder blade.

The 3rd incident happened in Lincombe Road, Huyton, on 11 March 2015. On this occasion, 2 men received gunshot wounds outside a house on Lincombe Road.

The 4th shooting took place on Copperwood Drive in Whiston, on 10 April, 2015, after a chase involving occupants of an Audi firing shots at a VW Passat, which left a passenger of the VW Passat with serious injuries. The victim's life was saved but he was left with a severed spine and is now paralysed from the chest down.

David McMullan had also denied an offence of arson following an incident at Penmann Crescent, Halewood on 18 April, 2015. McMullan had already pleaded guilty to an offence of blackmail against a relative of the occupants of the address targeted in the arson attack.

Scott Smith, Kieran Blair and Andrew Hughes had previously admitted conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Tivendale from Merseyside Police Matrix Major Crime Unit said:- "We are pleased that this reckless organised crime group has been removed from our streets for the foreseeable future. We have seen again that criminals who use firearms are throwing away their life and destroying that of others. The sentencing demonstrates just how strongly we will deal with those involved in gun crime and drug supply, and should strongly deter those who are considering this path of criminality. Serious and organised crime remains a priority for Merseyside Police, and we will continue to take positive action against those who blight our communities. Information from the public is vital and we will continue to act on all that we receive. My message to those engaged in organised crime is clear: we know who you are, we can see where you are operating, and we will come knocking."

Chief Inspector Mike Evans from Cheshire Constabulary said:- "Today, members of an organised crime gang that brought misery, fear and intimidation to the streets of Widnes and Liverpool have collectively been jailed for a total of more than 110 years. The sentences handed down reflect the severity of their crimes and the significant impact that their behaviour had on local people. A property in Widnes was used as the 'safehouse' for the gang; it was here that they stored the firearms used in the shootings in Merseyside along with cash and other items. They brought their criminal activities to the streets of Widnes and often carried out their drug related activity in public places during the day and night with blatant disregard for anyone else. It became clear that the OCG was controlling drug distribution in Widnes. It was a significant drug dealing enterprise, who believed they were above the law and untouchable; now they are paying the ultimate price for their criminal activity."

Chief Inspector Evans added:- "A dedicated team of officers from both Cheshire and Merseyside Police have spent hours securing evidence, searching for witnesses and painstakingly analysing exhibits as part of this complex case to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice. Cheshire Constabulary is committed to tackling organised crime. We will not tolerate those who choose to come into Cheshire believing it is an easy target; be warned as it is only a matter of time before we catch up with you. Organised crime blights local communities and residents can rest assured that our efforts will continue. The successful conclusion of this case has resulted in a number of dangerous individuals being taken off the streets for a very long time."

Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane, said:- "Having seen the threat posed by organised criminal gangs to our communities, I'd like to congratulate Chief Inspector Evans and his team for this excellent outcome. Removing these sorts of people from our communities, and our streets, will send a strong message to other criminal gangs that live, or operate, in Cheshire, that this Police Force will bring you to justice."

Anyone with information in relation to Merseyside gun crime is asked to contact the MSOC Guncrime hotline on:- 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.

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