North East drug dealers jailed for a total of 105 years

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THE final member of a major cocaine dealing network has been jailed.

Thirteen people have now been sent to prison for a total of 105 years and five months, after Gary Williams was sentenced to six years and nine months.

The 36-year-old, of Ashwood Meadows, Horden, East Durham, was one of a number of dealers who bought one kilo deals of uncut cocaine at £50,000, from the gang who used a luxury penthouse flat at Hartlepool Marina as a front.

Police smashed the operation in December 2009, when five kilos of cocaine worth £1million, and thousands in cash was seized.

The sentencing of Williams at Teesside Crown Court ended a two-year investigation, codenamed Operation Mustard.

It was pieced together by DNA and fingerprint evidence and analysis of dealers’ mobile phone calls that linked them to each other and revealed the scale of the network.

The others involved were sentenced earlier this year, including Leslie Graham, 47, of Greenacres Farm, Haswell, jailed for seven and a half years after he put up £10,000 towards a cocaine deal.

He and Williams were sentenced for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Detective Sergeant Sarah Robinson, of Cleveland Police, said: “These sentences should act as a warning to anyone involved in the supply or distribution of drugs, that we will find you and we will do everything possible to ensure that you are put behind bars.”