Northamptonshire gang guilty of cocaine conspiracy

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

The head of a criminal gang in Northamptonshire has been found guilty of conspiring to supply large quantities of high purity cocaine into the county.

Joseph O’Neill, aged 36, of Jacques Road, Burton Latimer, along with Sean Byrne, aged 48, of Purser Road, Northampton, and Paul Wesley, aged 38, of Foxton, Cambridgeshire, have been on trial for the past eights weeks charged with conspiracy to supply a Class A drug.

David Herbert, prosecuting the case at Leicester Crown Court, described O’Neill, who owns Ice Lounge in Northampton, as someone who “posed as a legitimate businessman using funds from his involvement in the supply of Class A drugs.”

Abdul Khan, aged 25, of Alcombe Terrace, Northampton, pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to being concerned with the supply of class A drugs.

The prosecution case was that the men were part of an organised criminal gang that supplied cocaine to Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire.

Mr Herbert said that O’Neill was the head of a criminal gang in Northamptonshire, while Wesley played a similar role in Cambridgeshire. He said the drugs operation had run over a two-year period from June 2010 to August 2012 and, during this time, police gathered a large amount of surveillance evidence, including mobile phone records and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera images.

Mr Herbert said O’Neill used phone boxes to ring other members of the drugs gang and used the code of “pens” arriving to signify a supply of cocaine. The four men will be sentenced next year.