Seven more people sentenced following huge class A drugs supply investigation
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A further seven people have been sentenced following a police investigation into a number of conspiracies to supply industrial amounts of class A drugs across the UK.
A total of 39 people have now been brought before the court following the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) investigation which was launched in April 2020 after the encrypted chat platform ‘Encrochat’ was dismantled as part of a huge international law enforcement operation.
A large number of those who have been sentenced used the encrypted chat platform to organise and facilitate the supply of multiple kilos of cocaine and heroin, primarily between January and September 2020.
Data recovered from the platform was used by officers to mount a successful prosecution highlighting the vast scale of the offending, stretching the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and across international boundaries.
Today (Friday), six defendants were sentenced – Mark Corbett, 42, Darren Corbett, 50, Craig Waterhouse, 60, Kane Farrell, 29, Dorrell Phillip-Potter, 32, and Steven Kelly, 38.
Top row from left to right - Mark Corbett, Darren Corbett and Craig Waterhouse. Bottom row from left to right - Kane Farrell, Dorrell Phillip-Porter and Steven Kelly.
The seventh defendant, Kenneth Laffey, 56, was sentenced last Thursday (30 November).
Evidence gathered by the investigation team showed Mark Corbett was involved in orchestrating the movement of huge quantities of class A controlled drugs and criminal cash across the country, with Darren Corbett acting as a courier on his behalf.
Waterhouse was also involved in the supply of some of the class A controlled drugs trafficked by Mark Corbett and was also used as a courier for the movement of criminal cash.
Some of the class A controlled drugs were distributed to a group based in the East Midlands, who have previously been sentenced for their part in the various conspiracies.
The drugs were then subsequently supplied onwards by defendants Farrell and Phillip-Potter. When Farrell was arrested for his part in the offences identified he was found to be in possession of further quantities of cocaine and approximately £160,000 in cash, said to derive from the supply of class A drugs.
Kelly was a courier used by the East Midlands group to move class A controlled drugs between Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and the north west of England. When Kelly was arrested for his part in the offences identified, he was found to be in possession of around two kilograms of amphetamine that was intended for onward supply.
Kenneth Laffey was identified as a criminal associate of Mark Corbett and, when arrested, was found to be in possession of a large amount of cannabis, with documentation indicating that it was for onward supply.
The sentences passed at court today were:
Mark Corbett, formerly of Conway Drive, Timperley, Cheshire, was sentenced to 17 years and six imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to three counts of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs (cocaine) and one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property (cash).
Darren Corbett, formerly of Elm Drive, Stretford, Greater Manchester was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs (cocaine) and one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property (cash).
Waterhouse, formerly of West View Road, Whitewell Bottom, near Rossendale, Lancashire, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug (cocaine) and conspiracy to transfer criminal property (cash) following a trial.
Farrell, formerly of Durnford Road, Wigston was sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug (cocaine), possession of criminal property (cash) and possession with intent to supply a class A controlled drug (cocaine)
Phillip-Potter, formerly of Barkbythorpe Road, Leicester, was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug (cocaine and heroin).
Kelly, formerly of Elstree Drive, Bilborough, Nottinghamshire was sentenced to seven years and six months imprisonment after being found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug (cocaine/heroin) following a trial and previously pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply a class B controlled drug (amphetamine)
The sentence passed last week at court was:
Laffey, formerly of Arlington Road, Stretford, Greater Manchester, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay costs of £1,200 after previously pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply a class B controlled drug (cannabis)
Detective Sergeant Chris Sewell, from EMSOU, said: “This offending stretched across the UK and international boundaries. A huge investigation has now seen a total of 39 people sentenced and large amounts of cash and class A drugs being recovered.
“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this investigation and who has helped to bring this before the courts.
“We continue to act on information received in relation to drug offending and urge anyone with any information to report it to us so that we can take the action needed.
“You can report online at www.leics.police.uk or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
“If you are affected by drugs misuse and want support to make change, you can also contact Turning Point who offer a variety of treatment options and will support you. More information is available at https://www.turning-point.co.uk/ or by calling 0330 3036000.”
Further information on the previous sentencings can be found here: