Kettering drugs gang jailed for almost 100 years

A gang who "acted with impunity" as they sold drugs across Kettering have been jailed for a total of almost 100 years.

The 11 criminals will spend decades behind bars after a four-month, intelligence-led East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) investigation into the suspected dealing of cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis across the town.

(Left) Michael Drain and (right) Peter Hall.

(Left) Michael Drain and (right) Peter Hall.

During their investigation, about 1.75kg of cocaine and nearly 50kg of amphetamines were recovered and 13 people were charged with offences relating to the supply of illegal drugs.

A series of linked court cases led to 12 convictions, with the final eight defendants sentenced at Northampton Crown Court last week. In total the gang was jailed for 99 years and one month.

Those jailed were: Simon Bailey, aged 32, of Daylesford, Gloucestershire, was found guilty of conspiring to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) during April 2018, and on November 1 was sentenced to 10 years.

Lewis Hartgrove, aged 28, of Kelmarsh Road, Harrington, was also found guilty of conspiring to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) during April 2018, and was sentenced to eight years in jail.

(Left) Simon Bailey and (right) Lewis Hartgrove.

(Left) Simon Bailey and (right) Lewis Hartgrove.

Michael Drain, aged 47, of Burton Latimer, was found guilty of conspiring to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) during May 2018, and was sentenced to five years and six months’ imprisonment.

Peter Hall, aged 31, of Uist Walk, Corby, was convicted of conspiring to supply a Class B drug (amphetamine) in May 2018, and pleaded guilty to the supply of a Class B drug (cannabis), receiving a total sentence of 11 years and nine months. He was cleared of a third charge of conspiring to supply cocaine.

They were jailed after a trial in October. During the investigation, nearly 40kg of amphetamine and almost 8kg of N-formyl-amphetamine, a substance produced during the process of producing amphetamine, were found in Drain’s car.

Four other men were also sentenced on Friday having previously pleaded guilty to linked offences.

(Left) Timothy Hartgrove and (right) Marcus McLeish

(Left) Timothy Hartgrove and (right) Marcus McLeish

They were: Timothy Hartgrove, aged 57, of Lapin Lane, Thorpe Underwood, was sentenced to five years after admitting one charge of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) during April 2018, when officers recovered almost 1kg of cocaine from his car.

Marcus McLeish, aged 36, of Balfour Street, Kettering, had pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiring to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) during April, June and July/August 2018 and was sentenced to a total of 13 years and six months’ imprisonment.

Jonathan Radford, aged 26, of Margaret Road, Kettering, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months after admitting conspiring to supply Class A drugs (cocaine) in April 2018, and conspiring to supply Class B drugs (amphetamine) in May 2018.

Tony Succo, aged 36, also known as Anthony Succo, of no fixed address, Kettering, had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiring to supply cocaine in April and June of 2018 and was jailed for 10 years and six months.

(Left) Jonathan Radford and (right) Tony Succo.

(Left) Jonathan Radford and (right) Tony Succo.

A further four people had already been sentenced for their parts in the conspiracy.

In March, Fidan Parllaku, aged 34, of no fixed address, was convicted of supplying around 500g of cocaine to Marcus McLeish in June 2018. He was sentenced to six years and six months.

Sajmir Plaku, aged 35, of Nina Carroll Way, Kettering, was charged with supplying Class A drugs between July and September 2018, and with the possession of a false/improperly obtained identity document. He admitted both charges and in July this year was sentenced to 10 years and nine months for the drug offence, with a six-month concurrent sentence imposed for the false ID charge.

Nathan Jones, aged 31, of Charles Street, Kettering, was sentenced to five years in prison in July after he pleaded guilty to supplying a controlled Class A drug, namely cocaine, between July and September 2018.

In October 2018, a 49-year-old woman of Regent Street, Kettering, had pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and was sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay a £340 fine and £85 victim surcharge.

The 13th person charged as part of the investigation, a 26-year-old Desborough man, was found not guilty of conspiring to supply a Class B controlled drug (amphetamine) following a trial in October.

(Left) Fidan Parllaku and (right) Sajmir Plaku

(Left) Fidan Parllaku and (right) Sajmir Plaku

Detective Inspector James Avery, of EMSOU, said: “I’m really pleased that our investigation has resulted in so many convictions and substantial prison sentences.

“This group was clearly well-established in its business model for selling drugs both in Kettering and for distribution outside of Northamptonshire.

Our investigations showed them acting with impunity, believing they could do whatever they wanted, which clearly wasn’t the case.

“Thanks to the tenacity, dedication and teamwork of officers from both Northamptonshire Police and EMSOU, we were able to gather considerable evidence and detail to prove the level that these individuals were operating at, leading to their ultimate downfall and securing their guilty pleas and convictions.

“The lengthy sentences imposed by the judge rightly reflect the harm done by this group’s activities, and the case clearly shows that those who seek to ruin lives by selling illegal drugs in our county can expect to be prosecuted and severely punished for their exploitative actions and greed.”

Nathan Jones.

Nathan Jones.