Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire and Spain drug gang jailed

Terry Conlon and Troy Stanton Image copyright Warwickshire Police
Image caption Troy Stanton (left) and Terry Conlon were the leaders of the nine drug smugglers

Seven members of a nine-strong drug smuggling gang have been jailed for between eight and three years each.

Based in Warwickshire and Spain, the men imported tonnes of illegal drugs into the UK from the continent.

Terry Conlon, 39, and Troy Stanton, 47, both originally from Coventry, were described as the group's ringleaders.

At Birmingham Crown Court the men were sentenced for conspiracy to import Class A and Class B drugs and supply Class B drugs.

A total of 30 people have now been jailed in the six-year investigation - the longest carried out by Warwickshire Police.

Conlon, who was living in a luxury barn conversion near Wolvey in Warwickshire, and Stanton, who was living in a villa in Alicante, pleaded guilty to all charges against them.

The police investigation began in July 2007 with the suspected importation of cannabis resin and cocaine from Spain and Holland into Warwickshire where it was distributed across the UK.

Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption Terry Conlon lived in a luxury barn conversion funded by his illegal activities

Conlon, who was jailed for eight-and-a-half years, controlled the importation of drugs into the UK while Stanton was responsible for the group's operations in Spain.

Since it began, the investigation - by police in both England and Spain - uncovered nearly four tonnes of cannabis resin, 200kg of amphetamines, five illegal firearms and £130,000 in cash.

Det Ch Insp Ally Wright, head of Warwickshire's serious and organised crime unit said the enterprise was a multimillion-pound business which funded a luxury lifestyle with high-value cars and expensive properties in England and Spain.

Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption More than four tonnes of cannabis resin was seized by police

"They were alive to police tactics which meant they were disciplined and determined in their pursuit to make money and avoid detection.

"For example, they were aware of the dangers of mobile telephone data and they changed both handsets and numbers regularly; prosecution evidence included data from 42 different phone numbers."

Also appearing in court were Paul James, 37, of New Street, Bulkington, Warwickshire, who received six years; , Sean Walsh, 45, of Chelmsford, who was sentenced to eight years and Michael Wheaton, 32, of Peckham, who received three years.

Jovan Tumara, 43, of Wordsworth Avenue, Stratford, was given three years and nine months.

Bryn Clinton, 45, of Banbury Road in Bishops Tachbrook, Warwickshire, was sentenced to five years and four months while Harry Card, 31, of Hadlow Road in Tonbridge, Kent, was given four years and four months.

Stanton and a ninth gang member, 44-year-old Renato Haughian, of Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire, will be sentenced later this month.

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