Drug gang gets 33 years in jail

�3,600 in cash which was seized from David Dawson.
�3,600 in cash which was seized from David Dawson.

Five members of a drugs gang, who tried to bring £40,000 of cocaine to Chorley and South Ribble, have been jailed for more than 33 years.

The men were part of what police described as a ‘sophisticated criminal plot’, which allowed them to drive around in expensive cars and live in exclusive homes.

The gang were caught after David Dawson, 28, of Brownedge Road, Bamber Bridge, was arrested in Chorley on August 9, 2010.

He was found with cocaine with a street value of around £3,000, as well as £3,600 in cash.

Police then carried out searches of addresses linked to Dawson, including the home of Daniel McCarthy, on Brampton Drive in Bamber Bridge, where police uncovered just under a kilo of cocaine, worth £30,000.

A month later, 26-year-old Mark Snape, formerly of Buchanan Street, Chorley, was arrested in his car near the railway crossing on Brindle Lane in Bamber Bridge.

He had in his possession cocaine worth around £3,000.

Shortly after, Paul Smith, 28, of Brookside Close, Leyland, formerly of Buckshaw Village, was arrested near Severn Drive in Bamber Bridge, and police found cocaine worth around £1,100 along with £290 in cash.

Further enquiries led to the arrest of Phillip Elleray, of Abbotts Close, Walton-le-Dale, in November 2010.

Det Sgt John Roy, of Chorley CID, said: “This operation put a stop to around £40,000 worth of cocaine being dealt on our streets.

“It was an organised conspiracy which saw these men coordinating a sophisticated criminal plot.

“A number of theses criminals were driving around in expensive performance cars and living in large homes without a legitimate income, which is an affront to our community.”

The men were sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Friday, after four earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Elleray was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison; Smith was jailed for eight years and three months; Snape was sentenced to six years and given a one year prison sentence, which is to run consecutive for a burglary in Eccleston; and Dawson was given a five year and six month custodial sentence.

The fifth man – Daniel McCarthy, 28, formerly of Brampton Drive, Bamber Bridge – had earlier pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and was jailed for four years.

Det Sgt Roy said: “We are committed to tackling organised crime gangs and cracking down on illegal drugs supply but we need the help of our communities.”