‘Ruthless’ Flanagan lived life of luxury
KINGPIN Thomas Flanagan was described as a ‘ruthless’ drug dealer who lived a life of luxury on his ill-gotten gains.
His business was run through a ‘graft’ phone which stored hundreds of numbers of drug users who he peddled heroin and crack cocaine to.
Painter-decorator Flanagan bought the drug dealing business and ran it in partnership with his stepfather John Hambleton.
But Prosecutor Simon Parry described Flanagan as ‘the first among equals’ who controlled the phone.
During the week, he drove to Hambleton’s house on Sutton Close in an expensive Landrover Freelander. At 7am the phone would send out a ‘flare’ text message to ‘customers’ telling them it was open for business. The phone would stop running at 5pm and never operated on weekends.
By April 2015 Flanagan’s army of drug dealers were selling 20g of drugs per day and was serving 199 customers.
The phone was also used in key communications with his dealers, some of who were drug addicts and were paid in drugs. Sentencing, Judge Langdale said: “It was a well run and well organised business empire. You were the main supplier of class A drugs in Macclesfield and made significant profit.
“You deliberately exploited drug users to act as dealers in a ‘hands off’ approach. You were ruthless by exploiting these drug users.”
When police raided his home last September they found £6,300 cash in a wardrobe.
According to his bank statements, Flanagan had only earned £10,000 in two years, but through his drug empire he was able to run a Landrover and paid for two holidays in May 2014 and May 2015, including a £1,625 break to the Dominican Republic, paid for in cash.
Defending Flanagan, Maria Marcellus said his role as the leader of a gang of drug dealers was at odds with his family’s description of him as a ‘model son, brother and partner’.
She said: “At the time he was due to marry his long term partner.
“He wanted to increase his ability to save for his wedding, due to take place in May this year.
“Of course that is not going to happen.
“He stupidly believed that as he was ‘hands off’ the drugs it would reduce his chances of being caught.
“His partner says she will stand by him and rebuild the life they had planned when he is released.”
Thomas Flanagan on some of his luxury holidays financed by drugs