Twenty people jailed for drugs conspiracy "on an industrial scale"


Twenty people (18 men and two women) have been sentenced to a total of more than 192 years after being convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of conspiracy to supply drugs.

Helen Graves, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a complex, lucrative and well organised drugs conspiracy, dealing in import quality heroin, spanning across England, Scotland and Wales

"Merseyside was the hub of a nationwide drugs distribution network, which was operated on an industrial scale.

"Heroin was mixed, adulterated and packaged in Liverpool and then distributed to South Wales, Devon and Cornwall and Scotland, usually in 1 kg parcels.

"The heroin was cut to create about four times the volume of the drug in a secret room in a flat in the suburbs of Liverpool - Lidderdale Road, Wavertree. Three of the men at the centre of the network Lee Halpin, Andrew Worrall and Carl Smyth were known as 'the Lidderdale 3'.

"The drug was mixed with a variety of other ingredients and then repackaged to look like pure Heroin so that it could be sold for the highest price possible.

"As the police caught up with various members of the gang and they were arrested, others would step forward and take on a leading role, which meant the conspiracy could continue.

"Twenty people have now been sentenced, to a total of 192 years in jail. This figure reflects how seriously the criminal justice system considers these crimes to be."