MAn jAilED As pArt of mA­jor Drugs gAng

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Special Report - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

A Yax­ley man has been jailed for nine years after ad­mit­ting his part in a ma­jor drugs net­work stretch­ing across five coun­ties. Michael Cough­lin, ( 34), of Broad­way, Yax­ley was one of 15 men sen­tenced to a to­tal of 68 years fol­low­ing a po­lice op­er­a­tion in May last year.

De­tec­tives from the EasternRe­gionSpe­cialOper­a­tions Unit (ERSOU) seized drugs, cash and a gun in a se­ries of in­ves­ti­ga­tions span­ning Es­sex, Suf­folk, Cam­bridgeshire, Hert­ford­shire andNorthLon- don.

It be­gan with a war­rant in Chelms­ford, Es­sex, in­May­last year, in which of­fi­cers seized 15kgof­co­caine, 1.5kgof­cannabis, 4kgof ke­tamine and­cash. That­war­rantlinkedanum­ber of men from Es­sex and north Cam­bridgeshire to the sup­ply of drugs.

Six men, in­clud­ing Cough­lin, were jailed as a re­sult.

ERSOU then set their sights on an­other group who had­been­linked­tothede­fen­dants in the ini­tial case.

A covert in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched and iden­ti­fied sev­eral men­whow­ere­couri­er­sor buy­ers from the ini­tial gang.

Po­lice seized 20kg of the class B drug am­phet­a­mines worth £250,000, in a num­ber of seizures.

In to­tal a fur­ther six men were con­victed of con­spir­acy to sup­ply con­trolled drugs, and were jailed last week.

Fi­nally, in Fe­bru­ary of­fi­cers seized 109kg of cannabis from stor­age con­tain­ers in Po­plar, Lon­don, and from the boot of an Audi stopped in Beth­nal Green.

Three men were linked to the drugs and were con­victed of con­spir­acy to sup­ply class B drugs fol­low­ing a trial at St Al­bans CrownCourt. They­were jailed ear­lier this month.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Ge­off Knight said: “Drugs dev­as­tate com­mu­ni­ties and we will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate, dis­rup­tand­pros­e­cuteany­onein­volved in the use and sup­ply.”

Michael Cough­lin, who was part of a drugs gang. Dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the gang a gun and drugs were seized.

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