Seven members of an organised drug dealing gang supplying cocaine and cannabis on the streets of Preston and Chorley have become the latest in a wave of dealers to be put behind bars.
The men and women, with backgrounds ranging from serving prisoners to young professionals, shared a common goal - to supply class A and B drugs for their own personal gain.
What is revealed in this case is a pattern which is revealed in all too many cases, namely the use of dangerous drugs leading to addiction, the addiction creating an increasing need for the drug and an increasing indebtedness to the dealers.Judge Christopher Cornwall
Some profited financially, others were paid in kind for performing driving and carrying duties, to keep the operation running smoothly.
The sentences are the latest in a number of high profile police operations which have seen more than 30 drug dealers taken off the streets of Preston and Chorley in a bid to rid the streets of drugs and gang activity.
Handing down sentences totalling more than 20 years, Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “What is revealed in this case is a pattern which is revealed in all too many cases, namely the use of dangerous drugs leading to addiction, the addiction creating an increasing need for the drug and an increasing indebtedness to the dealers.
“That debt then leads to the commission of crime and doing of what might be regarded as simple but in fact are utterly vital tasks on behalf of the dealers.
“I understand some of the misery and hopelessness that is experienced by those who are addicted. However the answer is never, and I repeat, never, to spread the misery on to others.
“That is what you all did to a greater or lesser extent.”
From February 2013 to April 2014 officers from Lancashire Police set about surveillance in response to intelligence gathered about drug dealing in Preston and Chorley.
The operation was headed up by Lee Graham and Desmond Hollinshead, who had met at the gym where they trained. But by the end of 2013 the pair were running an organised business, with rented premises - taken out as a tenancy by a third man, Wayne Peel, where drugs were stored, bagged and supplied.
A “dirty phone” was shared between the men, taking orders and offering to supply cocaine and cannabis and both men’s girlfriends - India Hoskinson and Chenice Jackson, were involved in the business, taking orders and forwarding text messages on.
Below Hollinshead and Graham were street dealers Peel, Joshua Hampson, Jack Haddon and Joe Squires, who took text orders for drugs and Hanna Patterson, who acted as a driver for the men.
When officers raided the house in Gordon Street, rented by Peel, they discovered cocaine with a street value of £2,600, the dirty phone and drug dealing paraphernalia.
However text messages recovered from the defendant’s mobile phones revealed a wider conspiracy.
Hollinshead, 27, of no fixed address, was jailed for four years for conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
Graham, 26, of Hindle Street, Chorley, was jailed for four years and four months for conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
Wayne Peel, 34, of Marsh Lane, Preston, was jailed for 14 months for conspiracy to supply cannabis and allowing his premises to be used for drug dealing.
Chenice Jackson, 22, of Birkett Drive, Ashton, was jailed for 27 moths for conspiracy to supply class A drugs with a further nine months for offences of ABH and common assault while she was on bail.
Hanna Patterson, 23, of Warwick Road, Eccleston, was jailed for 26 months for conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
India Hoskinson, 24, of Hindle Street, Chorley, was handed a 50 week jail term suspended for 12 months with a four month curfew for being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Joshua Hampson, 23, of Henderson Street, Plungington, was jailed for eight months for conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs.
Jack Haddon, 23, of Liptrott Road, Chorley, was jailed for six months for conspiracy to supply cannabis and possession of cocaine for his personal use.
Joe Squires, 20, of Oswald Court, Coppull, was handed an eight month sentence suspended for 12 months, with supervision and 150 hours of unpaid work.