FOURTEEN men are being sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court this week for drug supply and distribution in and around Lincolnshire and throughout the Midlands and Yorkshire.
Seven of the men appeared at court today (Thursday May 3) and were sentenced as below. The remaining men will be sentenced tomorrow.
Operation Atlanta was an intelligence led operation started by Lincolnshire Police in late 2009 into an organised crime group based near to Louth. The enquiry centred around the activities of Phillip Cox and Stephen Payne who were believed to be involved in the supply of Class A controlled drugs.
Polie said during this investigation, Timothy Louth from Boston was also identified as being a person of interest. Cox Payne and Louth shared common contacts with other dealers and sourced drugs from those dealers.
As a result of this information and intelligence the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) commenced a parallel operation called Operation Ridion.
The operations were combined when Lincolnshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit became part of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit Serious Organised Crime team in September 2011.
Evidenced gathered during the operation included surveillance, covert CCTV and data analysis, resulted in a number of arrests between February and April 2011 and the charging of fifteen people for a range of drug offences.
Jamie Richard Smith, an unemployed 23-year-old, from Mill Lane, Grainthorpe in Louth, Lincolnshire was charged with conspiracy to supply a Class A (cocaine) and a Class B (cannabis resin) controlled drug. Smith pleaded guilty during his trial at Lincoln Crown Court.
Stephen John Payne, aged 43, of Pear Tree Lane, Fulstow in Louth, Lincolnshire was charged with conspiracy to supply a Class A and Class B controlled drug ( Cocaine & Amphetamine). Payne, a farm worker, pleaded guilty to both offences. Payne was sentenced to 11 years.
Philip Mark Cox, aged 41, of Jubilee Road, North Somercotes, Lincolnshire was charged with conspiracy to supply a Class A and Class B controlled drug. Cox, a farmer, pleaded guilty to both offences. Cox was sentenced to 11 years.
Simon Andrew Godwin, aged 39, of Quarry Road in Louth, was charged with conspiracy to supply a Class A controlled drug (cocaine). Godwin, a builder, appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on the 14th October 2011 where he pleaded guilty. Godwin was sentenced to 3 years.
Lincolnshire ACC Rodger Bannister said: “As part of Lincolnshire Police’s commitment to tackling and dismantling organised crime groups, an intelligence led drugs operation was commenced against a group of people living in North Lincolnshire in late 2009.
“As a result of significant, detailed and meticulous work conducted initially by officers from Lincolnshire Police and then laterally in collaboration with officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, a number of criminals operating across the Midlands were identified.
“Lincolnshire Police in conjunction with its regional partners will continue to tackle organised crime groups that have a significant and destructive impact on the communities in which they live.
“This investigation has shown the value of working in collaboration with regionally colleagues when it comes to tackling a range of policing matters and in particular Serious and Organised Crime.”