Drug-dealing gang sentenced to more than 25 years in prison


A drug-dealing gang who smuggled large amounts of cannabis resin across the country have been sentenced to a total of more than 25 years in prison.

Six men were sentenced at Kingston Crown Court today after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply drugs between London and the North East of England between 30 July 2014 and 2 February 2016.

A seventh conspirator - Darren Woods - was caught with 100kg of cannabis resin in his van in May 2015 but the gang continued smuggling the drugs until February 2016 when they were arrested.

Although the full amount of cannabis resin smuggled is not known, prosecutors believe that, based on the size of two seizures, the typical package size was 100kg - worth about £80k. Police identified dozens of journeys during that period with cannabis resin being carried north and money transported south.

CPS London reviewing lawyer Damaris Lakin said: "The prosecution case was that Neil Stuart was one of the organisers of this conspiracy which made very substantial amounts of money during the two years.

"The strong case put before the court, which involved a large amount of surveillance photographs of the conspirators and phone analysis, led the defendants to plead guilty at an early stage.

"If you smuggle drugs across the country you will face prosecution, with strong evidence put before the court."


Neil Stuart, 41, [05/07/1975] was sentenced to six years and three months imprisonment.
Jack Vose, 63, [03/08/1953] was sentenced to four years and nine months imprisonment.
James Botton, 45, [20/04/1971] was sentenced to four years and nine months imprisonment.
Lee Birks, 55, [01/10/1961] sentencing was adjourned to 30 March.
Daniel Thompson, 33, [07/03/1988] was sentenced to four years and two months imprisonment
Paul Beavers, 49, [02/08 /1967] was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment.

A seventh man Darren Woods, 42, [26/08/1974] was sentenced to 45 months in prison at an earlier hearing after a guilty plea.