AN organised crime gang who flooding the streets of Crewe with cocaine have been jailed for almost 65 years.

On August 10, 2016, officers carried out a series of dawn raids at addresses across Crewe, Nantwich and Newcastle-under-Lyme, leading to the arrest of eight men on suspicion of drugs offences.

Martin Day, 34, of Draycott Drive, Newcastle Under Lyme; Lee Cooper, 35, West Street, Crewe; Philip Derricutt, 35; Camm Street, Crewe; Matthew Young, 32, Crewe Road, Wistaston; Russell Barker, 52, Alton Street, Crewe and James Taylor, 33, Hughes Drive, Crewe pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and stood trial at Chester Crown Court in January and February 2017.

During the trial a jury heard how Day had six dealers distributing Class A drugs across Crewe.

In addition, Day also supplied drugs to Paul Hamlett, 45, of Parkers Road, Crewe, who would then distribute them to a further three dealers.

The jury were presented with mobile phone data that showed how Day and Hamlett were in contact with each other on a daily basis organising their criminal activities.

During the investigation it was established that the ‘Eight Farmers Public House’, where Hamlett was living at the time of his arrest, was used as a ‘hub’ by the gang; with Day and Hamlett often using the pub as a base to meet with other gang members.

The jury took two days to find them guilty of all the charges against them.

Yesterday, at Chester Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Woodward handed Day a prison sentence of 10 years and six months.

The twelve other members of the gang also appeared at Chester Crown Court.

Judge Woodward sentenced the entire gang to a total of 64 years three months behind bars.

Hamlett, Thomas Coppenhall, 23, Risley Prison; Anthony Preedy, 28, Fairbourne Avenue, Crewe; Luke Bowers, 21, Brookhouse Drive, Crewe; Andrew Holdcroft, 37, Risley Prison; Colin Earrey, 47, Hesketh Croft, Leighton and Nicholas Hall, 33, Worsdell Close, Crewe Hall, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs at a previous hearing.

Following the sentencing Detective Inspector Giles Pierce from the Crime Operations Unit, said: “This was a long and complex investigation which has led to substantial prison sentences for all of the defendants involved.

“Throughout the investigation, it had been clear that Day was the ringleader of this criminal enterprise. He lived a luxurious lifestyle from his Staffordshire home, using the money raised from the supply of illicit drugs to fund extravagant holidays, expensive cars and high-tech technology.

“Day made his money by maintaining disciplined control of the gang to act as a network of ‘couriers’ for him; distributing illegal drugs across Crewe and South Cheshire. He facilitated the large-scale supply of illegal drugs, whilst attempting minimise his own direct involvement in their movement.

“However, thanks to a comprehensive investigation by my team, we were able to gather extensive evidence, which proved that Day, along with the other 12 members of the gang, were all guilty of the charges brought against them.”

Det Insp Pierce said investigation shows the commitment Cheshire Police have in targeting those who ‘undermine our communities and bring misery’ to residents through their involvement in organised crime and illegal drugs.

He said: “I hope that this case sends out a clear message to other potential criminals that the use and supply of illegal drugs crime will not be tolerated in Cheshire.

“While this investigation has now concluded our fight against organised criminals continues, and I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their local communities to get in touch.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane added: “It’s pleasing to see the sentences handed down to the defendants, which will keep the individuals involved off Cheshire’s streets.

“I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved in the operation for the dedication and commitment that they have shown.

“Having seen the threat posed by organised criminal gangs, removing those involved in this activity from our communities is paramount and sends a strong message that they are not welcome in our county.”

Anyone with any information related to the supply of illegal drugs can contact Cheshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, information can also be reported anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.