Their crimes were masterminded by Shaun Lau while serving time in prison for previous drug conspiracy offences and he used established contacts to send up to £400,000 worth of heroin and cocaine into Skegness and the Nottinghamshire market town of Newark.
Lau and his organised crime group, based in Nottingham, used a number of ‘safe houses’ in Mapperley, Bulwell and Newark to store large amounts of money and adulterate the high purity drugs. The illicit substances were then couriered to their intended target towns by members of the gang and supplied to local addicts. Meanwhile, proceeds from the sale of the drugs were laundered through various bank accounts.
At ground level the gang used bribery and intimidation to run local drug dealers out of town and take control of the homes of susceptible users in order to supply their wares.
A six-month investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), supported by both Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire police forces, led to the gang’s undoing.
Enquiries made by detectives between September 2016 and March 2017 connected the dots and, following searches of a number of addresses linked to the gang — including Lau’s prison cell — £76,000-worth of high purity cocaine and heroin, and more than £10,000 in cash was seized. Evidence also pointed to them peddling much more during this time.
When officers took action, the gang looked to be intending to extend its empire to Grantham.
EMSOU Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pearson said: “Shaun Lau was running a well-established criminal enterprise from his jail cell. Using his associates outside the prison walls he operated an extremely profitable supply of Class A drugs out of a semi-detached house in a quiet street in Nottinghamshire.
“But, as we have seen in other areas of the country, this group operated a County Lines model. They didn’t deal in their own back yards. They didn’t unleash these drugs on the neighbourhoods in which they lived, they used intimidation tactics to take control of other dealers’ ‘patches’ miles away from home. They then exploited vulnerable residents to set up camp there and embed a new supply network.
“That said, the gang also held a toxic influence back in Nottingham, enlisting a number of people to do their leg work. They tempted their recruits with high-value rewards for their service — drawing them onto a slippery slope to serious criminality, which has ultimately cost them their freedom here today.
“Lau and his army of young subordinates caused untold damage with their crimes, casting a sinister shadow over two popular East Midlands towns — damage I hope can start to be repaired now that they have been removed from society.”
Coast Area Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Matt Bennison, said: “I am pleased to see significant sentences handed to those people who travel to small towns and commit crime, whilst often targeting the most vulnerable in our society.
“We will continue in our efforts to tackle these County Lines drug dealers both locally and working together with our EMSOU colleagues.”
After a trial, three were found guilty of their parts in the plot. Twelve others previously admitted their involvement.
The following were sentenced on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 September at Nottingham Crown Court for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs:
l Shaun Lau, formerly of Jedburgh Walk in St Ann’s, Nottingham, led the gang from his HMP Hewell jail cell in Worcestershire. The 30-year-old was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison.
l Jaydon Wood, formerly of Trinity Street in Gainsborough, was Lau’s deputy on the outside and the gang’s ‘enforcer’. The 29-year-old also admitted possession with intent to supply Class A drugs in Gainsborough, and was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison;
l Daniel Langford, formerly of Courtleet Way in Bulwell, Nottingham, was primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of street level supply in Newark and distributing the associated financial rewards. The 19-year-old was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison;
l Ross Dyer, formerly of Abbotsford Drive in St Ann’s, Nottingham, sourced and supplied large quantities of cocaine to the gang. The 38-year-old was sentenced to six years and one month in prison;
l Christine Bailey-Brown, formerly of Byford Close in Mapperley, Nottingham, is an old friend of Lau’s and ran the OCG’s HQ in Nottingham. The 43-year-old was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison;
l Monica Davidson, formerly of Byford Close in Mapperley, Nottingham, was involved in the running of HQ, and transporting drugs and money. The 21-year-old was sentenced to five and a half years in prison;
l Jarrod Westcarr, formerly of Joyce Avenue in Daybrook, Nottingham, facilitated the supply of drugs. The 28-year-old, who also struck a police officer with a car, was also charged with dangerous driving. He was found guilty and sentenced to four and a half years for the drugs offences and a further 15 months for the driving offence, to run consecutively;
l Jaylen Rhodes, formerly of Lodgewood Close in Bulwell, Nottingham, controlled one of the gang’s safe houses. The 20-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison;
l Curtis Burke, formerly of Deabill Street in Netherfield, Nottinghamshire, controlled the street level supply of heroin and crack cocaine in Newark. The 27-year-old was sentenced to three years and four months in prison;
l Charles Amadi, formerly of Lodgewood Close in Bulwell, Nottingham, managed the supply of heroin and crack cocaine from a Newark address. The 21-year-old was sentenced to seven years and seven months in prison;
l Lucy Langford, formerly of Courtleet Way in Bulwell, Nottingham, assisted her brother Daniel in the storage of large quantities of controlled drugs. The 22-year-old was also the primary money launderer for the group. She also admitted transfer of criminal property and was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison;
l Leah Barrett, formerly of Willow Hill Close in Bulwell, Nottingham, assisted with the day-to-day workings of her partner Daniel Langford’s drug trafficking activities. The 18-year-old was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years.
Scott Seville, formerly of Portland Street in Newark, allowed his premises to be used to store and supply heroin and crack cocaine, as well as convert cocaine into crack cocaine. The 44-year-old pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and, alongside the others, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
l Tracey Barthorpe stored drugs at her former home in Yorke Drive, Newark. At a previous hearing the 39-year-old admitted being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and was subsequently sentenced to three years two months in jail.
l Dean Haynes, formerly of Egerton Walk in St Ann’s, Nottingham, was the gang’s upstream cocaine supplier. The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and will be sentenced at a later date.