Amphetamines gang jailed for running 'industrial scale' labs

Equipment for drug production Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Part of the lab equipment used for making drugs discovered during the raids in Lancashire

A drugs gang which ran "industrial scale" labs described as "potential death traps" have been jailed.

Ten men and one woman were sentenced at Preston Crown Court for their part in operating the amphetamine factories in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

One of the labs was found last year during an undercover police raid on an industrial unit in Earby. A second lab was later found in Ashton-Under-Lyne.

The factories supplied the gang which operated across northern England.

The Earby site had the potential to manufacture hundreds of kilos of amphetamines at a time, police said.

Paul "Ziggy" Marley, of Calver Place, Glossop was sentenced to nine years for overseeing the amphetamine's production at both factories.

The 43-year-old was linked to both the Booth Street, Earby and Grenville Terrace, Ashton-Under-Lyne addresses.

He used the latter to store and distribute cocaine and amphetamine.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Andrew Hayes (left) and Paul Marley were given the longest sentences

Andrew Hayes, of Fincham Road in Dovecot, Merseyside was photographed at the Booth Street lab.

The 48-year-old was given seven years for conspiracy to produce amphetamine.

Det Insp Jason Pye, of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit which worked alongside the National Crime Agency, said: "This type of operation can be extremely lucrative to organised crime groups.

"Amphetamine is a drug which can have catastrophic consequences for users, not to mention the damaging environmental effects and massive risks that these volatile chemicals have on the environment and neighbouring properties.

"Nobody wants to live close to such a potential death trap."

Sentencing judge Beverley Lunt said: "The police are to be commended. They brought to a halt two huge laboratories capable of making huge amounts of drugs and criminal money."

Amphetamines are Class B drugs that carry a maximum sentences of 14 years for supply and production.

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Andrew Hayes at the Booth Street laboratory

The nine other people involved were convicted of a range of offences including conspiracy to produce and supply Class B amphetamine, possession of criminal property, possession of cannabis, and conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs:

  • Stuart Mason, 55, Green Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: Sentenced to 4 years and 10 months.
  • William Eatch, 60, Foxhill Road, Carlton, Nottingham was sentenced to 5 years and 11 months.
  • David Heys, 55, of Wheatley Road, Burnley was sentenced to 20 months suspended for two years.
  • Malcolm Gee, 66, Grenville Terrace, Ashton under Lyne has been sentenced to 6 years and 9 months.
  • Maxine Shaw, 45, of Colshaw Road, Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester was given 4 years 10 months.
  • Michael Duggan, 67, of Raven Terrace, Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, was sentenced to 4 years and 11 months.
  • Peter Williamson, 39, of Turnbrook Avenue, Preston was given 5 years and 6 months.
  • Adam Lamb, 24, from Liverpool was handed a sentence of 4 years and 4 months.
  • Paul Forshaw, 39, of Cumberland Road, Rochdale was given a sentence of 20 months.