Reporter saw raids and sentencing
EXPRESS reporter Stuart Greer followed the operation from the early morning raids to the sentencing of Flanagan and his gang.
Here he gives a first-hand account of what happened:
Last September I was invited to witness the next phase of ongoing operations aimed at clamping down on the supply of drugs in Cheshire.
A staggering number of police, some in full combat gear, others in plain clothes and body armour, met in a secret location outside Macclesfield where a big screen showed photos of Thomas Flanagan enjoying a life of luxury on one of his expensive Caribbean holidays.
He, the room was told, was their ‘number one target’. Minutes later I watched police smash their way into Flanagan’s home, cuff him and bundle him away. For the last six months Flanagan has sat in custody waiting for the inevitable hefty prison sentence.
I was there at Warrington Crown Court to see his drugs empire crumble into dust as the judge slammed him for his ruthless manipulation of drug addicts in Macclesfield to peddle narcotics and make him hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Flanagan is a large, muscular and intimidating individual. But as the judge sentenced him to eight years in prison, he visibly shrunk in size.
Not even the police, who were there to see the results of years of hard work, could bring themselves to smile, knowing that others will be lining up to take their place. The war against one group of dealers has come to an end, but the war on drugs goes on. ●● POLICE operation that brought down an empire – page 8
●● Officers are briefed on the morning of the raids