Operation Nemesis:12 sentenced

12/10/2012

Eleven people have been jailed for almost 40 years for their part in the supply of Class A drugs and money laundering in Stoke-on-Trent.

All have been sentenced at Stafford Crown Court over the last two days after pleading guilty to various offences at previous hearings.

Colin Molloy, Senior Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today paid tribute to the dedicated work of police officers investigating the case but in particular, to his Crown Prosecutors, who worked tirelessly and ceaselessly to translate masses of evidential material, into a picture of criminal activity that could be presented to a trial court demonstrating the guilt of Damien Miller and others. 

That work commenced prior to providing a charging authority but continued throughout the life of the case until today, the date of sentence. 

Mr Molloy said: "The case relied heavily upon analysis of mobile telephony and cell site usage.  Mobile phones were seized from most but not all of the conspirators but no mobile phones were recovered from Damien Miller.

"Whilst initially this posed a problem in proving a criminal link between Miller and the other offenders, data information gathered from a variety of sources, positively linked telephone numbers known to have been used by him, to other known participants and used during the commission of crime."

The case Reviewing Lawyer worked in close partnership with Bob Price, Principal Crown Advocate and Neil Ahuja, Junior Trial Advocate. Together they prepared for a long trial, initially listed for six weeks.

"Damien Miller had pleaded not guilty, but, by building a strong unassailable case, Mr Miller who is considered to be one of the key leads together with John Phillips pleaded guilty on the first day of trial," added Mr Molloy.

"It is known that many offenders who initially plead not guilty, change their plea not because they want to, but because they have to.  The strong team work approach between the police and CPS meant that this would and did occur.

"Proceeds of Crime Act applications will continue to be pursued, to ensure recovery of assets linked to criminal activities will deprive the offenders of any benefit they may have gained, from their criminal conduct."

Det Ch Insp Paul Clews, head of Staffordshire Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said:

"Building a case against Miller, Phillips and their associates took a considerable team effort involving several agencies and police departments.

"However, the trafficking of Class A drugs causes misery to numerous people, is inexorably linked to serious crime and can often have hidden impact on communities. The benefits are felt throughout the community and it is hoped this latest sentencing will help us to further reduce drug-related violence in both the town centre and estates of Stoke-on-Trent and beyond.

"Miller did not handle the drugs himself, but got other people to do his dirty work for him. As head of the group he was controlling everyone, and everything, from a distance. But by piecing together a series of events we were able to uncover Miller's involvement and the extent of his crime, along with that of all the others involved.

"We gathered evidence of events which led to cash and drugs being recovered. We have CCTV footage of Phillips meeting Miller at a pub in Nottingham. All aspects of Miller's life in Lincolnshire were thoroughly investigated.

"This case has also shown that some of those involved in this Organised Crime Group were vulnerable individuals who were easily manipulated by Miller and Phillips. People like this, who are so easily exploited by criminals, end up paying a high price.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the hard-work and dedication of everyone involved in bringing this group down. The commitment shown by our officers and staff, together with colleagues at the CPS, HMP North Sea Camp and Lincolnshire Police must be acknowledged.

"We always respond to community concerns over violence, drugs and the anti-social behaviour surrounding it. The continued success of Operation Nemesis is based on the support of local communities and I would encourage people to come forward and tell us of issues so that we can work together to improve the quality of life for our communities."

Damien Miller, aged 31, a Stoke-on-Trent man and serving prisoner, was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Dane Parker, aged 23, of Finstock Avenue, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine and conspiracy to money launder. He was jailed for three years, eight months.

Scott Mosedale, aged 26, of Sapphire Drive, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin. He was sentenced to two years, eight months.

Ryan Jones, aged 27, of Portland Street, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted possessing criminal property and conspiracy to money launder. He got one year, two months.

Stephanie Pitchford, aged 22, of Almond Grove, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine. She was sentenced to two years.

Kerry Wilkinson, aged 25, of Heathcote Road, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine. She was jailed for one year, eight months.

Byron Dunkley, aged 21, of Talbot Road, Stafford, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin. He has gone to prison for 16 months.

Otis Fox, aged 22, a serving prisoner, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and the possession of criminal property. He denied conspiracy to supply cocaine. He went to prison for three years, three months.

Anthony Bostock, aged 32, of Keelings Road, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine. He has been jailed for two years, three months.      
John Phillips, aged 29, of Rownall Road, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine and conspiracy to money launder. He has been sentenced to seven years, six months.

Liam Myatt, aged 22, of Wise Street, Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine. He was jailed for three years.

Darina Garkavaya, aged 24, of Princes Street, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to money laundering. She received a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours unpaid work.

Adrian Clewlow, aged 27, of Weston Drive, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted being in possession of criminal property and money laundering. He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday 17 October.