Britain’s ‘biggest ever’ cocaine bust sees 17 people jailed for 117 years after undercover police seized £20million of drugs on M6 motorway when gangs were caught out by their extravagant and ‘gangster lifestyles’
- Seventeen gang members jailed for 117 years after ‘biggest ever’ cocaine bust
- Police swooped on a van on the M6 that contained £20million worth of drug
- It was part of an operation into two organised crime gangs based in Warrington
- Ringleaders Jamie Oldroyd and Jamie Simpson jailed for total of nearly 26 years
Seventeen gang members have been jailed for 117 years after undercover police made Britain’s biggest land based cocaine siezure in a dramatic swoop on the M6.
Helicopter footage shows the moment drug kingpin Jamie Simpson, 31, was arrested on the motorway near Knutsford, Cheshire, after police vehicles surrounded his Ford Transit.
Officers found 186 kilos of high purity cocaine worth an estimated £20million, hidden under the floor of the van, as well as in the passenger seat and stuffed inside boxes.
The raid was part of a covert police investigation called Operation Dreadnought into Warrington based organised crime groups lead by Simpson and Jamie Oldroyd.
Cheshire Police said the ‘gangster lifestyles’ led by the two ringleaders and gang members led to their arrests, as they flaunted their wealth.
Cheshire Police said the ‘gangster lifestyles’ led by the two ringleaders and gang members led to their arrests, as they flaunted their wealth. Pictured: The blue transit van and the cocaine haul
The haul, pictured, is believed to be the biggest ever land based seizure of the Class A drug
Detectives said the gang led ‘cash rich’ lives and drive fast, high-powered cars – with Oldroyd driving 17 different cars during the 14 months he was under surveillance.
One video filmed on a phone showed Oldroyd and another gang member counting out an estimated £150,000 in cash on a coffee table where Rolex watches were seen.
Simpson was jailed for 11 years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine in April, but his sentence can only now be reported as restrictions imposed until the end of another trial have been lifted.
Cheshire Police said Simpson and associates Andrew Daniels, 41, Clare Smith, 36, and Dean Brettle, 37, had travelled to Kent and picked up the consignment from Rochester Pier, where it is believed to have come in from Europe.
The raid was part of a covert police investigation called Operation Dreadnought into Warrington based organised crime groups lead by Jamie Simpson (right) and Jamie Oldroyd (left)
Officers found 186 kilos of high purity cocaine worth hidden under the floor of the van (pictured)
The three gang members were also jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine, with Daniels sentenced to eight years and six months, Smith to eight years and nine months and Brettle to six years.
Police said Simpson’s dealing came to light as they carried out surveillance on the gang run by Oldroyd, 29, who was jailed in May for 14 years and three months for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Evans, from Cheshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said Oldroyd was running a nationwide drugs operation and would sometimes work with Simpson and his gang to acquire cocaine.
Mr Evans said: ‘We know the reach of this was right across the UK essentially, due to the amounts involved.’
Helicopter footage showed the moment drug kingpin Jamie Simpson, 31, was arrested on the motorway near Knutsford, Cheshire, after police vehicles surrounded his Ford Transit.
Simpson is held down by police and handcuffed after police swooped on his blue Ford Transit van on the M6
Mr Evans said it was the gang’s extravagant lifestyles which led to their arrests.
‘They were carefree, there was an arrogance to them and they led a bit of a gangster lifestyle.
It’s really good that the community has fed us the intelligence that’s allowed us to start this operation, so if you have got people in your community who are living beyond their means and you suspect their involvement in drugs then ring Crimestoppers or ring police and let us act on that information.’
Seventeen gang members jailed for total of 117 years after cocaine bust
(all from Warrington)
Jamie Simpson, 31, was sentenced to 11 years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Clare Smith, 36: Eight years and nine months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine
Andrew Daniels, 41: Eight years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Dean Brettle, 37: Six years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine
Jamie Winterburn, 47: Three years and four months after pleading guilty to money laundering.
(members all from Warrington and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, unless otherwise stated)
Jamie Oldroyd, 29: 14 years and three months
Lewis Johnson, 21: Nine years
Moses Webber, 21: Eight years
Terille Riley, 21: Six years and seven months
Taulant Paja, 22: Six years and six months
Islam Grana, 27: Seven years
Adam Todhunter, 29: Four years
Joel Reading, 21: Five years and seven months
Elliott Auton, 22: Five years
Jordan Redfern, 22: Five years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and dangerous driving
Paul Ferraillo, 42: Four years and six months after pleading guilty
Kyle Kelly, 20, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.