Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court today (Monday), described car dealer Jonathan Ferry as head of the Grantham drugs gang with Adam Higgs as his right hand man.
The Judge said: “Ferry was at the very heart of this operation which he controlled. He played an organising role in the buying and selling of drugs. He expected and no doubt got substantial financial gain.
“He drove a Ranger Rover with a personalised number plate. Found at his address was a receipt indicating he had bought it for £23,500 paying with cash. He had gold jewellery, a quantity of cash. There were four Rolex watches and two Armani watches.
“Ferry had a reputation in Grantham as an established drug dealer. He played a leading role and was very important in this operation.”
Turning to Higgs, the judge said: “He played an extremely important role. It was a leading role but under Ferry’s direction. Higgs was, I am sure, Ferry’s right hand man.”
The judge said Paul Hull was another of the leading members of the drugs operation. He said: “He was a trusted courier who was in close contact with Ferry, Higgs, Straw and Sly. He played an extremely significant role.”
He added that Straw and Sly, based in the Retford and Ollerton areas, operated as a partnership and were also key members of the conspiracy, while other defendants played lesser roles either as couriers or through involvement in processing drugs ready for onward sale.
At the end of the case the judge praised the police team involved in investigating the case.
He said: “This has been the result of a great many painstaking and diligent hours of police work. The officers and all involved are to be commended.”
This was echoed this afternoon by deputy chief constable of Lincolnshire Police Heather Roach, who told the Journal: “The judge praised the officers involved for their painstaking work in linking all of these defendants together.
“I would like to pay tribute to those involved for a really good, evidence-based case where almost all of those convicted pleaded guilty. This shows the level of evidence obtained.”
The operation, entitled Operation Bivan, was led by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit in collaboration with Lincolnshire Police and was focused on the activities of Ferry and members of his organised crime group based in and around the Earlesfield estate in Grantham.
The enquiry identified that Ferry was responsible for the sourcing and distribution of cocaine, heroin, Mkat and amphetamine from long established relationships with other organised crime groups based in Manchester and Nottingham.
Chief Inspector Mark Kirwan, of Grantham Police, said: “Lincolnshire Police have been working behind the scenes, responding to information provided by the community and others to remove this threat of organised drug supply.
“We have been working with partner agencies to ultimately conduct enforcement operations on this group who have been supplying illegal drugs including cocaine and heroin, into our communities.
“The community will be rid of these individuals for a significant amount of time and the scourge that they brought with them. Our Grantham community is already feeding back to us saying they all glad to get rid of these people and they feel reassured that the police have dealt with this issue head on. We cannot always explain what we are doing and how we do it but hopefully this end result will send a clear message that Lincolnshire will not tolerate organised illegal drug supply.”
Deputy Ch Cons Roach added: “These sentences are extremely long and send out a very clear message to people who want to deal in drugs and traffic them in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands. That message is that we won’t tolerate this type of behaviour, and the sentences totalling 114 years are very significant and reflect that.
“Ten months is a relatively short operation for an enquiry of this type, especially one that involves more than £1m worth of drugs and has ended up with 13 individuals convicted.”
As reported earlier today, 12 people involved in bringing huge quantities of class A drugs into Grantham have been sentenced to a total of 113 years and 10 month behind bars.
* Tyrone Sly, 46, of Bye Path Road, Retford – 10 years six months jail;
* James Straw, 50, of Petersmith Drive, New Ollerton, Newark – 16 years jail;
* Jonathan Paul Ferry, 46, of Larch Close, Grantham – 16 years jail;
* Paul Hull, 47, of Grantley Street, Grantham – 12 years jail;
* Adam Higgs, 24, of Shaw Road, Grantham – 14 years jail;
* Luke Smith, 30, of Goulden Street, Salford – eight years jail;
* Ryan Anderson, 31, of Walmer Street, Gorton, Manchester – eight years jail;
* Jamie Darby, 39, of Princess Drive, Grantham – 10 years jail;
* Adam Gill, 29, of South Parade, Grantham – three years, six months jail;
* Martin Cooper, 31, formerly of Grantham – three years, six months jail;
* Ashley Toulson, 27, of Edward Street, Grantham; two years four months jail;
* Stuart Frazier, 54, of Princess Drive, Grantham – 10 years jail.
The 13th defendant, Francesca Moynihan, 23, of Hawthorn Drive, Salford, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, with 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.