Gang jailed for running pub drugs empire
A gang who ran a Class A drugs empire from a Wolverhampton pub have been jailed for more than 20 years after they were exposed by a covert police sting.
The group of six used the Talisman pub in The Scotlands area to carry out deals worth up to £10,000 and organise a cocaine courier service to other parts of the city.
They were rumbled after being followed and monitored at the now closed venue by covert officers as part of a joint operation between Wolverhampton Police and the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU).
The five men and one woman – all from the Wolverhampton area – were arrested in November 2018 for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs since July 2017.
A search of the pub site in Wildtree Avenue also uncovered a raft of stolen power tools which were being sold on by one the gang, Duncan McGregor.
An immediate licence review was submitted by the force which forced the pub to cease trading.
As the weight of evidence piled up against them, four of drugs ring admitted the conspiracy and were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 21 November).
McGregor (52) of Westcroft Avenue, Underhill, and 36-year-old Gary Manderson, from Underhill Lane, Underhill, were both sentenced to five years and four months in jail.
Jake Simpson (26) from Blackwood Avenue, Wood Hayes, received four years and eight months, while 29-year-old Jake Carrier, of Highfield Avenue, Underhill, was jailed for five years and seven months.
The other two – John Dixon (38), of Carisbrooke Road, and 24-year-old Alex Simpkiss, of Blackwood Avenue, were convicted following a trial and both handed suspended 18 month jail terms.
Superintendent Tom Chisholm, from Wolverhampton Police, said: "The pub was at the heart of the illegal trade of Class A drugs which were flooding onto the streets of Wolverhampton.
"Drugs can cost lives and cause other crimes which further impact on our communities as users try to fund their habits.
"Through our covert operation we were able to expose this illegal business along with recovering a range of stolen items from the site.
"We cut off a significant source of drugs in the city and we won’t relent in our drive to put anyone who thinks they can trade illegal substances in our city behind bars."