A solicitors’ clerk who oversaw a cocaine supply conspiracy between criminal groups in Nottingham and Grantham has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Leon Angel-Robinson, aged 30, of Glamis Road, Basford, headed a network of Nottingham-based couriers who supplied an estimated 45kg of the drug to a trio of drug dealers from the Lincolnshire town between May 2012 and March 2013.
Police officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which investigates serious and organised crime across the region, established that Robinson’s group had made the journey 90 times, transporting an average of half-a-kilo of cocaine mixed with ‘bulking’ agents on each occasion.
Co-defendant Adam Walker-Brown provided Angel-Robinson with a flat in the Carrington area of Nottingham in which the drugs were mixed with other substances ready for distribution by Nathan Stock and 30-year-old Greg Tulley, of Brendan Road, Wollaton.
On October 21, 2012, a car being driven by Stock, with Tulley in the passenger seat, was stopped by police officers in Mansfield Road after leaving the flat.
The two men were found to be in possession of 1.8kgs cocaine and other drugs. A search of the flat in Waldeck Road also resulted in the discovery of cocaine and evidence of the drug having been mixed with other substances.
Despite the arrests of Stock and Tulley, Angel-Robinson was again orchestrating the distribution of drugs on December 29, 2012, having turned to others to help him. This time, a vehicle containing two other men, Lee McNeil and Aaron Simpson, was stopped and the pair were arrested after being found in possession of half a kilo of cocaine.
Detectives established that another two associates, Shirlon Ankle and Jermaine Oram, had arranged for McNeil and Simpson to deliver the drugs at the request of Angel-Robinson. Also involved in co-ordinating the arrangements was Junior Mason. Investigation work established that Angel-Robinson had set up the delivery to Grantham-based drug dealers Martin Cooper, Marc Fardell and Jas O’Connor.
In a third incident related the conspiracy, just a week later, a vehicle being driven by Walker-Brown was stopped in Wilkinson Street in Nottingham.
A search of the vehicle found a little over half a kilo of cocaine. Detectives would later establish that it too had been intended for delivery to Grantham, and again had been organised by Angel-Robinson.
On March 7, Desmond ‘DJ’ Buchanan was arrested in Grantham in possession of 573 grams of cocaine which was to be delivered to Cooper, Fardell and O’Connor in another deal arranged by Angel-Robinson. He had been assisted once more by Junior Mason, who had supplied the vehicle being driven by Buchanan.
Mason was also arrested shortly afterwards. A search of a flat linked to him resulted in seizures of Crack Cocaine, Heroin and equipment for mixing and preparing cocaine for sale, including an industrial press.
Angel-Robinson, then a part-time solicitors clerk, was arrested on March 20, 2013. A search of Angel-Robinson’s house in Sherwood found quantities of cash, whilst drugs were also found at an address linked to him in Hotspur Drive, Colwick and traces of drugs were found during a search of a hydroponics equipment shop he ran in Colwick Road, also in Colwick.
EMSOU detectives established that Angel-Robinson had on each occasion had some significant contact with couriers and others in the conspiracy, including Cooper, Fardell and O’Connor, who were arrested in July last year. It was estimated that the street value of the cocaine trafficked by the gang was in the region of £2m.
EMSOU worked alongside colleagues from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire police forces to execute warrants and carry out arrests. Cooper had already been the subject of a Lincolnshire Police investigation in 2012, which was taken on by EMSOU as part of this case.
Last month, following a 10-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court, eight of the defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
In addition to the 19-year sentence for Angel-Robinson, Mason, 29, of Nansen Gardens, Top Valley, and Cooper, also 29, of Calder Close, Grantham, were each jailed for 15 years, while 12-year sentences were handed down to:
- Nathan Stock, 29, of Mapperley Hall Drive, Mapperley
- 30-year-old Greg Tulley, of Brendan Road, Wollaton
- Marc Fardell, 27, of Ambergate Walk, Grantham
- Jas O’Connor, 28, of Walton Gardens, Grantham.
Reuben Patterson, 29, of Noel Street, Forest Fields, and the owner of a car used to deliver drugs to Walker-Brown on the day of his arrest, was given a three-year sentence.
Walker-Brown, 29, of Stirling Grove, Clifton, and 26-year-old Buchanan, of Penlech Walk, Top Valley, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. They were sentenced on 4 August to eight-and-a-half years and six years respectively.
Simpson pleaded guilty to his part before trial on 31 July. The trial of O’Neill, Oram and Ankle began on 4 August after they initially denied their part in the conspiracy. However, they all changed their pleas to guilty on 13 August and all were sentenced on 14 August.
Ankle, 31, of Duchess Street, Bulwell, received a sentence of 11 years in prison, while Simpson, 29, of Nidderdale, Nottingham was sentenced to eight years.
McNeil, 28, of Wistow Close, Whitemoor, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years. Jermaine Oram, 29, of Gawthone Street, Basford, was sentenced to four years.
Head of EMSOU, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Hough, said: “The five East Midlands forces are committed to delivering the national Organised Crime Strategy through EMSOU by providing the policing skills and resources needed to pursue, dismantle and prosecute criminal groups operating in our force areas.
“This is another excellent example of how EMSOU detectives, who are drawn from all five forces, are adept at unravelling intensely complex cross-border conspiracies such as this.”
“Given that someone employed as a solicitors’ clerk orchestrated this conspiracy shows a stunning disregard for the law,” said Mr Hough.
“Even the arrests of his couriers did not deter or concern him, and he simply turned to others to deliver the drugs on his behalf. It is fitting, therefore, that he should be handed such a significant prison sentence for his role.”
Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings will now follow in order to recoup some of the money and assets acquired by members of the gang through their criminal activity.
Pictured from top to bottom - Marc Fardell, Jas O’Conner and Martin Cooper.