Gang Sentenced For Running £1million Drug Operation From Inside Prison
A criminal gang has been jailed today for a running a £1million drug operation from inside prison.
Plymouth Crown Court heard that the bold dealers, headed up by 27-year-old Thomas Kehoe from Liverpool, ran their enterprise right under the noses of the authorities at HMP Exeter.
Kehoe was already serving a twelve year sentence for his part in a drug trafficking operation that saw heroin and cocaine smuggled to the south of England in vans.
He was sent down last year, after the police became suspicious of how he was paying for VIP football boxes and exotic holidays without any income whatsoever, but that didn't force him to curb his activities. He continued to mastermind drug runs between Liverpool and Plymouth from his cell using smuggled mobile phones.
Plymouth Crown Court (credit: PA)
The police's organised crime unit, Zepher, dismantled Kehoe's operation when they discovered a haul of heroin worth an estimated £1million. Kehoe was given a six year sentence after admitting conspiracy to supply class A drugs between December 17 2014 and February 28 2015. The new sentence will run concurrently with his old one.
Daniel O'Flaherty, 22-years-old, and Steven Kehoe, 29-years-old, from Liverpool were also sentenced for their part in the conspiracy alongside Andrew Roberts, 33-years-old, from Wigan. The sentences amounted to a total of 22 years and six months.
Another man who was due to be sentenced, 50-year-old John Hunt also from Liverpool, was due to be sentenced too but failed to appear at court. A warrant has now been issued for his arrest.
Thomas Kehoe (centre), Andrew Roberts (top-left), Daniel O'Flaherty (top-right), Jake Swabley (bottom-right) and Steve Kehoe (bottom-left). Credit: SWNS.
The presiding judge, Paul Darlow, said:
"Each one of you stands to be sentenced for the part you played supply of class A drugs. The consequences can't be understated. They result in the destruction of life, the destruction of families, destruction of ambition to make a way in life and provide for others and the proliferation of complicity of crime."
All defendants pleaded guilty for the charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs as the court heard that the gear was seized in an operation that started at the end of 2014.
Image credits: SWNS