Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cocaine Gang Are Jailed for 30 Years; 12-Year Sentence for Ringleader

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cocaine Gang Are Jailed for 30 Years; 12-Year Sentence for Ringleader

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy

ADRUGS gang which supplied a serving police officer with cocaine were yesterday given prison sentences totalling 30 years.

Det Sgt Paul Thompson was among the customers of a Ponteland-based crime gang headed by Stephen Wood and his brother David Wood.

Trusted lieutenant Brian Thompson, a childhood friend of Stephen Wood, provided his brother, police officer Paul Thompson, with drugs.

The former detective was cleared of corruption and conspiracy to supply drugs but was convicted of possessing cocaine and making illegal checks on the police database about tenants at properties owned by him and his wife.

Now Stephen Wood has been jailed for 12 years, David Wood for eight years, Brian Thompson for six years and courier Stephen Burdett was given four years.

When police raided David Wood's home they found diaries which showed receipts of just under pounds 1m from drug dealing, while Stephen Wood had invested almost pounds 250,000 with a stockbroker in Leeds.

The drugs ring was cracked after an investigation began into Paul Thompson in 2010 in relation to his obtaining of cocaine for his own use.

When police put the Thompsons and Woods under surveillance they uncovered a large scale supply chain.

Tim Gittins, prosecuting, said: "The investigation led officers through a great deal of surveillance to uncover a large scale drugs supply network in and around Newcastle, particularly in the west of the city.

"The organised crime group was headed by Stephen Wood who had contact with wholesalers and he controlled the finances of the group."

When police raided Stephen Wood's home in Darras Hall, Ponteland, last February, they found 4kg of compressed cocaine powder, worth more than pounds 600,000.

David Wood's diaries showed he had been mixing and cutting the cocaine before selling it to street level dealers in central and western Newcastle.

He was spotted on surveillance footage on his regular routine delivering packages from address to address. Over a 14-month period he delivered cocaine worth almost pounds 1m.

When police raided Brian Thompson's home they found pounds 160,000 hidden in a wardrobe, which he had been hoarding for the Woods. …

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