Merseyside brothers jailed for a multi-million pounds drugs conspiracy

|News, Drug offences
Mulhares drugs montage larger
Amphetamine, cocaine and Ecstasy tablets produced and distributed by the Mulhares' gang and the hidden compartment where the drugs were stored in transit

Two Merseyside brothers who headed up a multi-million pound drugs business and went on the run to Thailand when the net closed in on them have been jailed for a total of 28 years.

Joseph Mulhare
Joseph Mulhare

The Crown Prosecution Service pursued Joseph Mulhare, 44, and his brother Greg, 39, after they fled in 2017 when other members of their gang were arrested.

In December 2018, 21 men were sentenced to a total of 189 years behind bars for their involvement in the drugs conspiracy.  In November 2018 the Mulhares were detained by Thai authorities for issues with their Visas and were deported back to the UK in January Joseph Mulhare, formerly of Ringwood, Oxton, eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs and was today (13 12 2019) jailed for 15 years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court.

Gregory Mulhare
Greg Mulhare

Gregory Mulhare, formerly of Kipling Avenue, Rock Ferry, eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs and was jailed today for 12 years and 8 months.

Both men received a reduction of a third in their sentences because of their guilty pleas.

The Mulhares based their drugs business on the Wirral where they lived with their families.

They were at the very top of the complex conspiracy to produce, store, collect and distribute Cocaine, Amphetamine, Cannabis and MDMA to the North and South of England and Scotland.

It was a multi-million pound business and the brothers maintained strict discipline and a high level of secrecy to avoid detection.

They ran the trade through a series of other people that they employed so that it was difficult for the authorities to trace the activities back to them.

One of the gang, Ronnie Bateman decided to give evidence against the gang and this helped build this complex prosecution.

Maria Corr, of CPS Mersey-Cheshire Complex Casework Unit, said: “This Organised Crime Gang were manufacturing large quantities of  Ecstasy tablets and amphetamine and supplying multi –kilos of cocaine throughout England and Scotland.

“They used encrypted devices to communicate with each other and adapted vehicles to provide hydraulic compartments where they could hide the drugs when they were being transported.

“Joseph Mulhare was a formidable figure within the Operation, acting under great secrecy, with a highly organised cell-like structure beneath him.

“His members worked in a disciplined and ruthless fashion.

"Millions of pounds would have been made and despite paying no income tax, Joseph Mulhare was able to spend huge amounts of time travelling to Spain, Tenerife, Holland and America.

“Greg Mulhare had a leading role and tasked and directed others to co-ordinate this illegal trade. He had no registered form of income and in the 5 years before his arrest, he paid no tax at all. 

"Yet, he too found the means to travel to Spain, Tenerife and France.

“When the authorities moved in on their Empire, they turned tail and fled and left others to take the blame.

"With the help of the detailed and thorough investigations of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the evidence of Ronnie Bateman, the Crown Prosecution Service has nailed a major operator in the dangerous and lethal world of drug dealing. Let this be a lesson to those who think they can outwit the law."

Notes to editors

  • Operation Manhattan was the codename given to an investigation into the criminal activities of this Wirral-based Organised Crime Group, involved in the supply and production of Class A and B drugs on a significant commercial scale, between March 2016 and September 2017. Their enterprise was spearheaded by Joseph Mulhare. His brother Gregory was also a leading member of the enterprise.
  • The operation involved not only supplying large quantities of Class A and Class B drugs, but also producing Class A and B drugs. During the course of the conspiracy period the evidence indicates that the members of this OCG oversaw the manufacture of many thousands of MDMA tablets (approaching 200,000) and multiple kilograms of Amphetamine (approximately 200 kilograms).

21 defendants sentenced in December 2018

  • Paul Fehily, 42, of Price Street, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 14 years.
  • Michael Anderson, 64, of Bracken Lane, Wirral, pleaded guilty to participating in criminal activities of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) and was sentenced to a total of two years and seven months.
  • Steven McEntee, 33, of Egerton Park, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine), conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) and possession of a stun gun was sentenced to a total of 11 years and seven months.
  • Ian Birchall, 35, of Cross Lane, Bebington, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 11 years and three months.
  • Dwight Monfries-Jones, 33, of Durweston Walk, Bristol, pleaded guilty conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and possession of a controlled drug with intent (cannabis) and was sentenced to a total of 12 years and nine months.
  • Kurtis Jones, of Stonechat Gardens, Bristol, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of four years and nine months.
  • Dylan Bowen, 23, of Franklins Croft, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of four years and six months.
  • Stephen Laidlaw, 37, of Oriel Road, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (MDMA) and was sentenced to a total of nine years and seven months.
  • Christopher Jones, 36, of Poulton Road, Wirral, was found guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 11 years.
  • Gary Jones, 42, of Prentice Road, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine, MDMA and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of five years.
  • David Kavanagh, of Shore Drive, Wirral, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of five years and three months.
  • Steven Clarke, 57, of Westbourne Road, Prenton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 12 years.
  • Peter Monteith Jones, 52, of Ward Grove, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (MDMA) and was sentenced to a total of seven years.
  • James Irwin, 31, of Highfield Road, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (MDMA) and was sentenced to a total of five years and seven months.
  • Scott McAllister, 45, of Abbotsford Court, Cumbernauld, Scotland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 14 years and four months.
  • James McLaughlan, 43, of Hazeldene Park, Kilwinning, Scotland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of 14 years and four months.
  • James Clark, 48, of Hazeldene Park, Kilwinning, Scotland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of seven years and seven months.
  • Steven Clark, 42, of Castle Avenue, Stevenson, Scotland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to a total of seven years and two months.
  • Kevin Atherley, 42, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to nine years and seven months.
  • Steven Roberts, 40, of Graianrhyd Road, Llanarmon-Yn-lal, North Wales, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to nine years and seven months.
  • Dale Owen, 41, of Deva Close, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine and MDMA) and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs (cannabis and amphetamine) and was sentenced to nine years and seven months.

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