Liverpool's Fitzgibbon family members jailed for drug plot

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Media captionThe Fitzgibbon brothers behaved as if they were managing directors of their 'drugs business'.

Three members of a "notorious" criminal family in Liverpool have been jailed over a failed plot to smuggle more than £6m of heroin into Britain.

Ian Fitzgibbon, 39, and his brother Jason, 40, were caught when police bugged their Mossley Hill home.

Jason, who admitted conspiracy to import heroin was jailed for 16 years, while Ian, who admitted conspiracy to supply it, got 14-and-a-half years.

Their mother Christine, 60, got two years for money laundering.

Manchester Crown Court heard Ian, of Heigham Gardens, St Helens, and Jason, of Crofton Estate, Liverpool, were caught by police at the family home in Edale Road,

Officers had tracked 126lb (57kg) of the drug seized in Turkey back to Liverpool.

'Tight rein'

Raiding the house, police found £137,000 in cash stuffed under the floorboards.

Christine Fitzgibbon, of Edale Road, had been claiming £1,500 a month in benefits, the court heard.

Image caption Jason, Ian and Christine Fitzgibbon thought they were 'untouchable'

Matt Burton, of the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the North West, said: "What we're talking about here is a family who have held a very tight rein on areas of Liverpool for quite a number of years. They thought they were untouchable.

"Their motive: Financial greed, and greed in terms of their status and notoriety."

He said various members of the family forged a network of international contacts in Holland, Spain and Turkey, and as far afield as Colombia and Mexico.

They sent criminal associates on overseas deals and kept updated on currency exchange rates to optimise profits from drug deals.

"If they were to have channelled their thoughts and efforts into a legitimate business I have no doubt they'd be very wealthy individuals," Mr Burton added.

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