Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Drug Kingpin Is Jailed for 14 Years; Cocaine Dealer Caught in Probe into Police Officer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Drug Kingpin Is Jailed for 14 Years; Cocaine Dealer Caught in Probe into Police Officer

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

COCAINE kingpin John Whyte was today starting 14 years behind bars after he was caught up in a probe into a drug-taking detective.

Whyte was part of a cocaine ring cracked when police launched an investigation into Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson in 2010. Thompson, who once worked with the drugs squad, was cleared of being a dealer after a trial, but convicted of possessing cocaine.

The former officer had admitted buying the class A drug after he developed a habit following the death of his mother.

Thompson was fined after being found guilty of three charges of possession of cocaine and during his trial he said he and his wife had been selling a herbal based Viagra substitute to friends, not cocaine as prosecutors had alleged.

Other gang members, including Thompson's brother, were given jail sentences totaling 30 years last year.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Whyte, of Millwood, Chilton, County Durham, who a separate jury found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine, was jailed for 14 years.

Judge Simon Hickey said Whyte, 47, who was given a 10-year sentence for dealing heroin in 2003, was a "sophisticated and cunning" man who was heavily involved in bulk buying and selling cocaine.

The judge said: "Police came across this business when they started looking at the affairs of a serving police officer, who it transpired had been using cocaine from his own brother, who was a member of the organisation."

Thompson had resigned from the force when the dealing allegations were made against him. During his career he had received an area command award in relation to a serious sex assault case in Sunderland in 1997. He also received a certificate for distinguished behaviour after helping a woman and thee children from a house fire.

Thompson was fined PS1,000 for drug possession and a charge of misconduct in public office which jurors convicted him of in relation to using police computers to access details on people he knew. …

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