Criminal gangs, which funnelled up to £1.5 million-worth of cocaine into a Lincolnshire town from Leicestershire, have been jailed.
The 11 men and one woman were involved in a plot to supply of up to 15kg of the Class A drug into Skegness over a seven-month period between September 2019 and June 2020.
An investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) uncovered 18 occasions in which drugs and cash were transported via couriers between the two counties by two groups, with the illicit substance then distributed to dealers in the coastal tourist capital.
Nine men previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A drug and, at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday 7 November, were sentenced, they have been given a total of 63 years between them.
Three others pleaded guilty and were sentenced in April and June for a total of 8 years between them.
Formerly of EMSOU, now Lincolnshire Police, DCI Gemma Smith said: "EMSOU works hard to support our forces in putting a stop to those who pose the highest risk of serious harm to our East Midlands communities. "This particular organised crime group were exploiting the draw of Skegness – which is frequented by locals and visitors alike – to infest this popular family tourist destination with the addiction, violence and associated crime such illicit drugs bring. "I am pleased the sentences reflect the level of threat this group’s criminality presented and acknowledge the investigation team for their tenacity and determination to bring justice and protect the public, despite the upheaval Covid brought to the case."
Next month the team will be seeking Serious Crime Prevention Orders (SCPOs) and began the process of recovering any criminal gains from the gang under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
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