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Drugs worth £300k seized in Cannock after major police bust

By Megan Archer | Walsall | Crime | Published:

Drugs worth £300,000 have been seized by police in Cannock – with the two major ringleaders sentenced to 14 years in prison each.

John Appleton (left) and Michael O'Mahoney

A total of 23 members of five organised crime groups have been sentenced to a 132 years in jail combined for their part in a major drugs operation spanning the West Midlands and parts of the South West.

The leading crooks, John Appleton and Michael O'Mahoney – both who lived in Cannock – have been sent to jail for a combined total of 28 years for their part in the trafficking.

The groups, based in Cannock and Stafford, Walsall, Swadlincote, Redditch and Swindon, pleaded guilty in earlier hearings at Stafford Crown Court to conspiracy to supply either class A or class B drugs.

They were sentenced at Stafford Crown Court following an operation by Staffordshire Police.

Following the court case, these drugs – as well as some cash – were seized:

  • 1.78kg of cocaine, street value in the region of £71,849
  • 14.49kg of mephedrone, street value of £217,000
  • 23 cannabis plants, street value of £10,350
  • 284g of ethylphenidate, street value of £1,420
  • 677g of benzocaine, street value of £150
  • 6.52g of BK-MDEA, street value of £90
  • £41,000 in cash

Inspector Rob Harvmann, of Staffordshire Police, said: “All of these offenders played a role in fuelling drug crime in south Staffordshire and elsewhere across the Midlands and South West.

“It has taken a great deal of tenacity and attention to detail to obtain Confiscation Orders that allows the recovery of their assets. Should they fail to pay, default sentences will be imposed ensuring they cannot continue with their criminal enterprise.”

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"Staffordshire Police is committed to seizing and confiscating assets from those who benefit from any criminality in particular drug trafficking in our communities.”

A total of 23 men and women from Staffordshire, Derbyshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, Wiltshire and Warwickshire were charged with offences ranging from conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs, possession class A and class B drugs and production of class B drugs and money laundering offences.

Following sentencing Confiscation Orders were sought against all of the offenders.

The case was finalised on August 22 at Shrewsbury Crown Court when confiscation orders were made against the last two and principal offenders, John Appleton and Michael O’Mahoney – who both live in Cannock.

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The following sentences and confiscation orders were handed down by the trial Judge Jonathan Gosling:

  • John Appleton, 48, of Locketts Court, Cannock, 14 years imprisonment, Benefit £647,478.60, Confiscation Order £50,681.92, Default sentence 30 months.
  • Michael O'Mahoney, 45, of Avenue Road, Cannock, 14 years imprisonment, Benefit £475,235.66, Confiscation Order £90,450.75, Default sentence 30 months.
  • Jason Bayley, of Leamington Close, Cannock, 8 years imprisonment, Benefit £118,888.50, Confiscation Order £56,915.05, Default sentence 18 months.
  • Shane Andrews, of John Donne Street, Stafford, 8 years imprisonment, Benefit £40,970.00, Confiscation Order £745.00, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Carol Pope, of Glover Street, Cannock, 7 years 2 months imprisonment, Benefit £100,630.00, Confiscation Order £35,890.00, Paid, Default sentence 12 months.
  • Darren Pearson, of Moss Street, Cannock, 7 years 2 months imprisonment, Benefit £32,256.00, Confiscation Order £23.46, Default sentence 5 days.
  • Jamie Wilson, of Sidney Avenue, Cannock, 6 years 9 months imprisonment, Benefit £44,085.00, Confiscation Order £14,044.57, Paid, Default sentence 7 months.
  • Keith Peapell, of Swindon, 6 years imprisonment, Benefit £296,534.31, Confiscation Order £6,124.70, Paid, Default sentence 7 months.
  • Russell Degg, of Repton Close, Cannock, 6 years imprisonment, Benefit £500,000.00, Confiscation Order £69.00, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Lewis Chambers, of Hillary Street, Walsall, 4 years imprisonment, Benefit £41,420.00, Confiscation Order £2,339.32, Paid, Default sentence 3 months.
  • Lucy Butler, of Sanderling Close, Featherstone, 4 years imprisonment, Benefit £6,000.00, Confiscation Order £145.00, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Jamie Sleigh, of St John’s Road, Cannock, 3 years 7 months imprisonment, Benefit £31,121.79, Confiscation Order £10.00, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Matthew Parsons, of Lower Birches Way, Rugeley, 3 years 6 months imprisonment, Benefit £15,000.00, Confiscation Order £15,000.00, Paid, Default sentence 7 months.
  • Brett Appleton, of Locketts Court, Cannock, 20 months’ imprisonment, Benefit £45,000.00, Confiscation Order £1,177.96, Paid, Default sentence 40 days.
  • Derek Hodgkiss, of St John’s Road, Cannock, 17 months suspended sentence, Benefit £35,170.00, Confiscation Order £406.31, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Kyle Wilson, of Merrivale Road, Stafford, 14 months’ imprisonment, Benefit £2,254.31, Confiscation Order £185.31, Paid, Default sentence 6 months.
  • Gary Peapell, of Swindon, 8 years 8 months imprisonment, Benefit £309,349.61, Confiscation Order £1905.00, Paid, Default sentence 40 days. Also sentenced outside the local area were:
  • Lee Higgins, of Redditch, 11 months suspended sentence, Benefit £3,200.00, Confiscation Order £5.07, Paid, Default sentence 7 days.
  • Richard Menzies, of Swadlincote, 3 years 7 months imprisonment, Benefit £95,572.48, Confiscation Order originally £19,461.07 but being revised to £22,288.51, Paid, Default sentence 18 months.
  • Scott Kenny, of Rugby, 5 years 4 months imprisonment, Benefit £47,785.00, Confiscation Order £11,384.00, Paid, Default sentence 9 months.
  • David Perkins, of Redditch, 3 years 4 months imprisonment, Benefit £31,346.16, Confiscation Order £1,586.90, Paid, Default sentence 3 months.
  • Adam Farmer, of Kineton Close, Redditch, 8 years 6 months imprisonment, Benefit £234,030.00, Confiscation Order £143,694.58, Paid, Default sentence 3 years.
  • Gareth Pincombe, of Repton Road, Swadlincote, 8 years 2 months imprisonment, Benefit £174,134.19, Confiscation Order £2,604.10, Default sentence 4 months.

If anyone suspects drug dealing in their community call Staffordshire Police on 101 or the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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