Breaking news: Four found guilty of drugs charges and warned they face ‘substantial prison sentences’

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.
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Members of an organised crime gang which flooded Grantham with huge quantities of cocaine and heroin were today (Thursday) warned they face substantial jail sentences.

Three men were convicted this afternoon of conspiracy charges following a ten-week trial at Lincoln Crown Court.

The jury deliberated for 11 hours and 43 minutes, spread over three days, before returning their verdicts.

Judge John Pini QC is due to pass sentence in the New Year on the men found guilty, together with another 10 people who admitted their roles.

The Judge said: “They will be facing a substantial prison sentence.”

At the conclusion of the trial, Jamie Darby, 39, of Princess Drive, Grantham, was convicted of two charges of conspiracy to supply cocaine and M-Cat. He was cleared of conspiracy to supply heroin.

Adam Gill, 29 , of South Parade, Grantham, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

James Straw, 50, of Petersmith Drive, New Ollerton, Newark, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin.

Stuart Frazier, 54, of Princess Drive, Grantham, was cleared of conspiracy to supply heroin but had earlier pleaded guilty to a similar charge involving amphetamine.

All four were remanded in custody to await sentence.

Eight men and one woman previously admitted charges of conspiracy to supply drugs. They are Jonathan Paul Ferry, 46, of Larch Close, Grantham; Paul Hull, 47, of Grantley Street, Grantham; Adam Higgs, 24, of Shaw Road, Grantham; Ashley Toulson, 27, of Edward Street, Grantham; Tyrone Sly, 45, of Bye Path Road, Retford; Ryan Anderson, 30, of Walmer Street, Gorton, Manchester; Martin Cooper, 30, formerly of Grantham; Francesca Moynihan, 22, of Hawthorn Drive, Salford; and Luke Smith, 30, of Goulden Street, Salford.

Anthony Morton, 27, of Tamar Court, Grantham, denied conspiracy to supply heroin and was found not guilty by the jury.

The charges all related to the period between January 1 and October 23, 2014, when the jury heard that “massive” amounts of drugs were brought into the town by the gang, which was headed up by Jonathan Ferry.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said that Ferry was involved with other organised crime groups from Nottinghamshire and Manchester.

Mr Lowe told the jury: “Ferry was sufficiently well established so as to be able to obtain supplies of heroin and cocaine in huge quantities. It is apparent that Ferry’s Grantham operation was in full swing by January of last year. It is also apparent that whenever members of his group were arrested that group was able to continue with little or no interruption.

“He used others to do the work for him. He rarely took the risk himself.”

Mr Lowe said that others involved with Ferry played important roles, including collecting, storing, preparing and distributing the drugs.

He told the jury that Adam Higgs was the “most senior lieutenant” while Stuart Frazier and Paul Hull played leading roles.

Mr Lowe added: “This case focused upon the activities of three separate but linked organised criminal groups. At the heart of this was an organised criminal group based in Grantham. That group was involved in the onward supply of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and M Cat.

“This Grantham criminal group was an organisation set up to sell drugs on a huge scale for what must have been huge profits.

“That group was headed by a man called Jonathan Ferry. He, with the co-operation of others, sourced their drugs from at least two other criminal groups.

“The first of these was one based in the Retford and Ollerton area of Nottinghamshire. That group was headed up by James Straw together with Tyrone Sly. The Retford group on a large number of occasions provided Jonathan Ferry’s Grantham group with vast quantities and heroin and amphetamine.

“Jonathan Ferry and his Grantham organised criminal group also purchased supplies of cocaine and M Cat from a group in Manchester. Huge purchases were made for onward sale in Grantham.”

Sentencing is expected to take place in January.