Justice catches up with drug dealer gang member
THE final member of a drugs gang which peddled heroin and cocaine on the streets of Macclesfield has been sentenced.
Benjamin Preece, of HMP Altcourse, was given a 16-month prison term suspended for two years.
He admitted selling two wraps of heroin to an undercover police officer on Jodrell Street, Macclesfield, on January 27, last year.
Preece was a low-level member of a drugs gang led by ring leader Thomas Quadrio, who ran a ‘graft phone’ to communicate with his dealers and drug users.
Quadrio used drugs courier Peter Jones to bring in the class A drugs from Liverpool, before it was given to dealers Preece and Darren Cooper to sell to users.
Quadrio, 32, of Abbey Road, Macclesfield, admitting conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was jailed for five years.
Cooper, 40, of Carisbrook Avenue, Macclesfield, who was jailed for 40 months after pleading guilty to four charges of supplying class A drugs. Jones, 51, of Bread Street, Macclesfield, admitted conspiracy to supply drugs and was sentenced to 15 month in prison suspended for 12 months.
Preece, 34, is the last to be sentenced after the first wave of arrests under Operation Alzira, a yearlong undercover operation by Cheshire Police to combat the supply of heroin and cocaine into Macclesfield from Liverpool and Manchester.
Last September, police smashed a number of drugs gangs in the town during early morning raids at addresses.
More than 100 police officers met at a secret location in Macclesfield at 5.30am and had completed the raids by 7.30am in what was described as one of the largest operations undertaken by the force.
Detective Sergeant Gavin Day, who led the operation, said: “This operation has struck at the heart of an organised crime gang by removing the hierarchy who organ- ise the drug supply and reap the benefits from the profits generated.
“Illegal drugs have no place in Cheshire and are a blight on the lives of local residents.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to tackle the issue. The message is clear – we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour within the local community.
“Following the arrests and charges as part of the operation a void was left in the illegal drugs market within the area.
“Officers are continuing to monitor the situation and will take appropriate action against any further drug related activity that comes to light.
“The conclusion of this case should serve as a warning to anyone involved in this type of activity that we are actively targeting and successfully prosecuting those involved in the supply and distribution of illegal drugs.
He added: “All the defendants had different levels of involvement
“Information from the local community is vital in the fight against drug relate crime.
I would urge the local community to support the efforts of local officers and anyone with any information in relation to suspected drug related activity is urged to call Cheshire Police.”
●● Benjamin Preece