Three men face prison after conspiring to supply £200,000 worth of cocaine across Sunderland
Three men are facing prison after conspiring to supply Class A drugs across Sunderland following a lengthy police investigation.
Mark Shergold, 45, was the last of three drug dealers, who were found in possession of £200,000 of cocaine, to be convicted following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, September 27.
Shergold, of Cliffe Park, had claimed that he was innocent despite his associates, David Waterhouse and Dennis Cairns previously admitting their roles in the conspiracy.
The investigation came to a head on January 14, 2019, when officers watched courier Waterhouse drive his van to Ribble Road to meet Cairns.
While wearing a pair of black rubber gloves, he handed his associate a green and white carrier bag containing four kilos of cocaine, which police later found and seized at Cairns’ home on Rhodesia Road.
Following the drop off, Waterhouse was then seen by officers driving to Southwick Road were he met Shergold – prompting police to strike later that day.
Cairns was arrested outside his local Sainsburys, police intercepted Waterhouse on the A1 as he headed back to his home in Oldham, and Shergold was arrested at his home on Cliffe Park.
Officers also recovered £16,000 in cash and two blocks of cocaine from Waterhouse’s van, along with a quantity of tablets and receipts showing deposits of more than £12,000 cash from Shergold’s home.
A subsequent search of a connected address on Ridley Street also uncovered three mobile phones hidden inside a nappy bag.
As a result, all three men were charged with conspiring to supply cocaine.
In February 2019, both Cairns and Waterhouse both pleaded guilty to the offence at Newcastle Crown Court.
Speaking after the hearing on Monday, Detective Sergeant Amber Renton from Northumbria Police’s Priority and Organised Crime team hopes that the conviction all three men will serve as a warning to others.
She said: “Today marks the conclusion of a long-running investigation and I am pleased the jury saw what we did.
“Illicit substances can cause our communities real damage while lining the pockets of greedy criminals.
“Despite his associates admitting their roles, Shergold was determined to get away with this and throughout this trial claimed he had little to no involvement.
“We now know this to be a lie and, under the banner of Operation Sentinel, we will continue to pursue those who have a role in supplying, distributing and dealing these awful substances.
“I hope today serves as a warning to anyone involved in this kind of criminality. We will pursue you and bring you before the courts.”
All three men are set to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court at a later date.