Five men jailed for dealing in heroin and cocaine


Five men have been jailed today for dealing in heroin and cocaine from a flat in Liverpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Peter Quinn, 31, James Shields, Liam Jamieson, 41, Michael Thomas, 34, and John Fitzpatrick were involved in the supply of heroin and cocaine.

The drugs were mixed with an adulterant at a flat over a butchers shop at 124 Mill St so that the gang could maximize the profit they made selling the drugs.

The diluted drugs were stored at a house in Lloyd Close in Liverpool and the money they made from them was kept there too.

Quinn, Shields and Jamieson were found guilty of drug dealing after a trial. Quinn was sentenced to 14 years and 6 months in prison, Shields to 14 years, and Jamieson to 9 years. Thomas and Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. Both were sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

The police had suspected that drug dealing had been going on and had been watching the flat in Mill Street for weeks in May 2014.

Thomas lived there and the surveillance revealed that Quinn was a regular visitor. Thomas would keep watch while Quinn entered, pulling his hood up to conceal his identity.

Jamieson was also a regular visitor to the flat, staying for short periods and often delivering items to the premises. Shields only went there once during the period of surveillance.

Search warrants were executed at the flat in Mill Street and the house in Lloyd Close on 29th May 2014

Entry to the flat in Mill Street was delayed as it had been barricaded by a large plank of wood wedged between the front door and the stairs.

Thomas and Quinn were in the flat. Jamieson had made off on to a roof at the rear of the premises but was ordered back inside by officers.

Police said it was clear that someone had been mixing and adulterating heroin in the kitchen and had tried to get rid of the drug down the sink.

The kitchen tops and sink were covered in heroin and there were quantities of mixing agents, a blender. a sieve, spoons and bowls, all covered in heroin.

Quinn was found in the bedroom and was frantically deleting messages to and from Shields on his mobile phone.

The phone was seized and later analysed as where a pair of forensic gloves found next to Quinn. These gloves were found to contain traces of heroin.

Fitzpatrick was found in the house in Lloyd Close and admitted to officers that there was cocaine and cannabis there. The tumble dryer in the kitchen contained 2 bags of cash totalling £72,650, a further £26,920 was found in a kitchen cupboard and £1,980 in a Land Rover parked outside.

Shields was away on holiday abroad when the properties were searched. The holiday had been paid for by his partner with £4,055 cash and the balance of £2,040 on a Visa Card. He was arrested on 15 July and his home in South Ferry Quay was searched. Three mobile phones were found.

Checks by HM Revenue and Customs showed that Quinn hadn't worked from 2012 to 2014 but records for the tax year 2014-2015 listed his employer as Quick Cars Ltd.

The company is registered with HMRC and between 11 May 2012 and 11 May 2013 it showed a turnover of £84,934.

The prosecution argued that Quick Cars was a front for money laundering - the "Company" had no business premises, no staff or employees.

Pascale Jones is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Complex Casework Unit of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service and worked on the case from the beginning. She said: "These five men were heavily involved in the buying, diluting and selling on of heroin and cocaine

"The gang used a fake company, "Quick Cars", to clean up the money they made from the drugs so that they could then spend it on holidays and flash cars. Quinn even bought a house outright with the money he made.

"But their criminality caught up with them and they are now all behind bars, and the Crown will now begin the work of reclaiming the money they made from their crimes."