Brothers ran UK-wide drugs ring from Wirral base

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Media captionThe brothers were arrested at gunpoint in Thailand

Two brothers who oversaw a UK-wide drugs ring that made MDMA, cocaine and cannabis have been jailed.

Ringleader Joseph Mulhare, 44, and Gregory Mulhare, 39, were arrested in an armed raid in Thailand last year.

The men, who ran the operation from their base in Wirral, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs, police said.

They were responsible for "bringing misery to potentially thousands of people", Det Ch Insp Ian Hussey said.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Joseph Mulhare (left) and brother Gregory Mulhare organised the "commercial scale" conspiracy

Joseph Mulhare, of Birkenhead, Wirral, was sentenced to 15 years and four months and Gregory Mulhare, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 12 years and eight months at Liverpool Crown Court.

Video footage of the brothers being arrested by Thai immigration police in Pattaya last year showed police armed with pistols and automatic weapons storm a room, where the brothers were sharing a bed.

Officers from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) seized drugs worth more than £820,000, alongside £80,000 in cash and a stun gun, during the 18-month investigation.

They uncovered the "extensive commercial scale production" of amphetamines, MDMA, ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis, Merseyside police said.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Officers uncovered an MDMA factory in a cellar
Image copyright Merseyside Police

Det Ch Insp Ian Hussey said it was "a long and challenging investigation".

"Neither of these men were hands-on in the production of the drugs but they were responsible for orchestrating and organising the nationwide distribution (and) were also the ones who benefitted the most financially from their illicit business dealings," he said.

Twenty-one men who were part of the drugs ring were sentenced in December last year.

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