More than 100 years in prison for drug gangs including Lincolnshire men

Ten men involved in distributing an estimated £1.36 million of high purity cocaine have today been sentenced to 104 years for their part in the conspiracy thanks to a major crack down on the supply of Class A drugs in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

More than 100 years for drugs gangs EMN-211021-080559001

The men were part of two organised crime groups (OCG) which trafficked the Class A drug between Lincolnshire and the West Midlands, with an estimated 17kg of cocaine between 1st January 2019 and 27th January 2020.

Among them were Robert Diaz (42) of Maltkiln Lane, Waddington and Edward Wivell (41) of North Parade, Lincoln

During warrants executed at properties across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands, specialist search teams seized 2.086kg of uncut cocaine which had a street value of up to £209,000.

Officers also uncovered evidence of lavish lifestyles with receipts for a staggering £266,225 of goods including luxury clothing still in boxes, which had been purchased at stores in London, Paris, Copenhagen, encrypted mobile phones, and £29,540 of cash. The warrants were executed in January 2020.

The investigation revealed how the OCG from Lincolnshire sourced the Class A drugs from a Coventry-based OCG, with couriers making frequent trips to the Coventry area for exchanges to take place. Drug buys also took place in a rural area near to Stanton on the Wolds in Nottinghamshire. The operation was uncovered by detectives and investigators from Lincolnshire Police and the East Midlands Serious Organised Crime Unit (EMSOU).

Three of those sentenced today, Robert Diaz (42) of Maltkiln Lane, Waddington, Lincolnshire, Barry Knight (60) of Nuneaton Road, Bedworth, Warwickshire, and Stephen Oliver (44) of Windsor Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, had stood trial at Nottingham Crown Court in August. A further seven men had already pleaded guilty to other charges related to their part in the conspiracy, which also included the production of cannabis.

Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson from Lincolnshire Police said: “This was a complex drugs operation, and today’s result shows the tenacity and dedication of all the investigative teams from both Lincolnshire Police and EMSOU.

“We are determined to tackle the scourge of drugs which blights the lives of many across society, and thanks to the hard work of the investigation team, organised crime gangs which push these drugs have been dealt a swift and powerful blow to their operations.

“Organised criminals prey on users, and their activities can bring with them wider issues of violence and exploitation that goes with drug traffickers. We are pleased to see such a good result today, but we are not complacent; we will continue to work hard to safeguard our communities and protect the vulnerable.”

There will now be Proceeds of Crimes Act (POCA) proceedings against the offenders to recover assets amassed through their criminal activity.

If you have information which could help to take a drug dealer off the streets, then you can share this information with Crimestoppers anonymously.

The full details of the charges and sentencing:

Robert Diaz (42) of Maltkiln Lane, Waddington, Lincoln. Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 19 years

Barry Knight (60) of Nuneaton Road, Bulkington, Bedworth, Warwickshire. Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 18 years

Stephen Oliver (44) of Windsor Street, Rugby, Warwickshire. Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of producing cannabis between 1st June 2019 and 16th January 2020. Sentence: 8 years plus a concurrent sentence of 21 months production of cannabis

Edward Wivell (41) of North Parade, Lincoln. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs namely, Cocaine. Sentence: 6 years and four months

Andrew Turner (40) of Holmcroft, Coventry, West Mids. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs namely, Cocaine, one count of producing Class B drugs namely cannabis, and one RIPA offence. Sentence: 8 years and 8 months, plus a concurrent sentence of 8 months for cannabis production and 4 months for failing to provide a passcode.

Joseph McCluskey (43) of Parkfield Road, Keresley End, Coventry, West Midlands has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 9 years and 9 months

Jon Moreton (50) of Torbay Road, Coventry, West Mids. He has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 10 years and 9 months

Stuart Bassett-Hawcock (34) of Oaklands Close, Lincoln. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 8 years

Jack Constable (34) of Foxhall Road, Nottingham. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 8 years

Michael Kershaw (41) of Florian Way, Coventry, West Midlands. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs namely, cocaine. Sentence: 7 years and 6 months