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Drugs with an estimated street value of £75,000Six men were jailed yesterday (Wednesday, 1 August) at Worcester Crown Court for their involvement in the supply of cocaine in Redditch.
Judge Cavell sentenced Kristoffer Bell, aged 32 (date of birth 12/7/80), from Evesham Road, Redditch to seven and a half years and Paul Malpass, aged 36 (dob 9/7/76), from Highview Drive, Kingswinford to six years in prison.
Martin Sadler, aged 30 (dob 6/5/82), from Cecil Drive, Oldbury was given a four and a half year jail term, while Craig Davies, aged 24 (dob 15/11/87), from Standhills Road, Kingswinford and Darren Jones, aged 34 (dob 22/01/78), from Bells Lane, Stourbridge were both sentenced to four years behind bars. Liam Pitt, aged 19 (dob 13/08/92), of Ostler Close, Kingswinford, received a two year sentence for his role as the driver.
Apart from Malpass they had all previously admitted conspiring with others to supply class A drugs (cocaine). Malpass denied the same charge but was found guilty following a trial in February this year (2012).
The court heard that all six were seen participating in a drugs transaction at the Mayfly pub in Redditch on Friday, 3 June, 2011. They were all subsequently arrested at different locations. Officers seized half a kilo of cocaine which was discovered in a car belonging to Pitt, who acted as a courier for the gang. The cocaine had an estimated street value of between £50,000 and £75,000.
Detective Sergeant Andy Bailey said that an investigation by West Mercia Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit identified Bell as the gang's ringleader and a "main player" in the supply of Class A drugs in Redditch. Bell had only been released from prison in February last year after serving time for similar drug offences.
Det Sgt Bailey said: "We are dedicated to tackling serious and organised crime within our communities. Drug trafficking at all levels is taken extremely seriously and those engaged in this activity should expect to be targeted and prosecuted.
"Such offending has a serious impact on our communities in many ways and goes beyond the production and supply of the drugs themselves. The associated crime which is committed to enable users to fund their habit affects everyone.
"Today's sentencing should send a very clear message to those responsible for this type of crime that when caught they can expect to receive robust prison sentences. We are all a lot safer with these men behind bars, which is where they deserve to be."
Det Sgt Bailey added that the force would now seek to identify the criminal assets obtained by the gang through drugs trafficking with a view to confiscating them.