Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PAYBACK TIME FOR PS4m DRUGS GANG

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PAYBACK TIME FOR PS4m DRUGS GANG

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNE WELFORD mike.blackburn@eveninggazette.co.uk

A CONVICTED drug dealer who made more than PS1.4m from the peddling of cocaine and amphetamines has been ordered to pay back just PS1 of his ill-gotten gains.

Francis McGee, 57, was part of a five-strong Teesside drug gang jailed for a total of 18 and a half years in April last year.

The convictions came after Cleveland Police's Operation Cockshoot uncovered a "substantial" drug processing and distribution business, handling more than PS1.5m worth of cocaine and amphetamines on Teesside.

A proceeds-of-crime confiscation hearing, at Newcastle Crown Court this week, heard the gang had jointly racked up an estimated total of PS4m from their drugs trade.

From this the five men were ordered to pay back a total of PS400,430 by the court.

Stephen Jamison, 45, the kingpin of the drugs factory, was estimated to have made PS2.4m and ordered to pay back PS394,540. He had been jailed for 10 years.

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From his associates, Michael Jaffray, 49, was told to pay PS780 from criminal gains of PS2,625, Michael Berry, 42, PS5,064 from PS6,750 and Andrew Marks, 39, PS45 from PS600.

But the court ordered McGee, a charity worker from Middlesbrough, to pay just PS1 from estimated gains of PS1,488,916.

McGee, of Heythrop Drive, Acklam, who admitted possessing cocaine and amphetamine with intent to supply, was jailed for four years and nine months. The court had heard he "warehoused a large quantity of drugs".

Marks was imprisoned for two years, Berry and Jaffray were jailed for 21 months each. The judge in the original case described these three as "integral cogs" passing drugs down the distribution chain.

What was dubbed "one of Cleveland's largest drugs conspiracies" was busted in a matter of hours in April 2011 after detectives received an anonymous tip-off. …

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