Gang Members Sentenced to 32 years for County Lines Drug Dealing.
Friday 09 Oct 2020
Six men have today been jailed for over 32 years for their part in the supply of drugs in North Flintshire.
This was the result of a three year investigation into an Organised Crime Group (OCG) from the Kirkby area of Merseyside, that supplied Class A drugs into Holywell and Flint between 2017 and 2020.
Leading figure Ryan Hamid, (known as ‘Badger’ due to the white streak in his hair), along with James Morris orchestrated the sale of vast quantities of Heroin and Crack Cocaine into Flintshire.
After being stopped in a vehicle in April 2019 in Deeside, they recruited local man Daniel Delaney to deal drugs to users on their behalf. They provided Delaney with a stolen car on false plates to help him avoid detection. The car was subsequently recovered by Police following a pursuit in the Flint area.
Hamid and Morris also recruited Wade Doolan and Stuart Ashton to sell on their behalf. Doolan, from Liverpool was provided with another stolen car.
Doolan lived at Ashtons Bagillt address, which was used as a base of operation in order for the members to meet and exchange cash for more drugs to sell.
When Hamid went on holiday in late September, Morris stepped up to lead the operation. He was driven around by his girlfriend Beth Parker as he collected cash and dropped off more drugs for Doolan to sell.
In November 2019 officers executed a warrant at the Bagillt address, interrupting Hamid, Morris and Doolan resupplying the operation. Thousands of pounds worth of drugs as well as cash was recovered.
In January 2020 police stopped local man Shaun Baxter in a vehicle on false plates in Bagillt. He told officers he was homeless and living in a tent, despite having nearly a thousand pounds in his pocket. Investigators were able to link him to Hamid through his mobile telephone and recovered another stolen vehicle on false plates.
In February this year, local officers executed numerous search warrants in Flintshire and Merseyside. All seven defendants were arrested, charged with conspiracy to supply Crack Cocaine and Heroin, and remanded into custody.
Hamid, Morris, Doolan and Baxter all entered guilty pleas prior to the trial. In early September, an eleven day trial at Mold Crown Court saw Beth Parker, Stuart Ashton and Daniel Delaney plead not guilty. They were all found guilty by a jury. Delaney was also convicted of Dangerous Driving.
Today, six of the seven defendants were sentenced. Hamid was jailed for 8 and a half years, Morris was sentenced to 6 years 3 months, and Doolan 4 years 3 months. For their parts in the operation, Delaney was given 4 years 11 months, Ashton 4 and a half years, and Baxter 3 and a half years. Beth Parker will be sentenced at a later date.
Sentencing Judge, Recorder Mills described the gang as ‘relentless, arrogant and determined to exploit vulnerable clients for greed’ and stated that the case was so serious, the only outcome could be imprisonment.
Investigating Officer PC James Tapley said: ‘This was a lengthy and complex investigation into a group making thousands of pounds out of the misery of others.
‘We demonstrated how the members profited from their criminal activities with designer clothes, holidays, spa and hotel breaks, and even a visit to Chester Races.
‘Confiscation proceedings will now follow, where the total amount of their criminal gains will be recouped from assets and cash already seized, and some that are yet to be identified.’
In addition, Serious Crime Prevention Orders have been applied for against Ryan Hamid and James Morris to prevent them from contacting any other conspirators, keeping unregistered phones or travelling into North Wales without notifying Police.
Local Neighbourhood Sgt Steve Lloyd said: ‘This operation was a great success for Flintshire North’s Neighbourhood Policing Team.
‘During this operation we have built on some great alliances with Merseyside Police and the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, and without their support we would not have been able to achieve this success.
‘We will continue to collaborate with our allies and target those criminals who pose a threat to our district.
‘We are determined to make north Wales the safest place in the UK, and the today’s sentences send a clear message that if you deal drugs in North Wales, you will get caught.’