Drug gang to pay back profits

Members of a crime gang that used '˜rural hides' in Preston to mix and cut deadly drugs have been ordered pay back some of their ill-gotten gains.

Friday, 19th May 2017, 11:22 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:41 pm
Preston Crown Court

Judge Heather Lloyd, presiding over a two day Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, made confiscation orders against several of the men who tried to flood Lancashire and Merseyside with class A drugs.

Last June, 12 men from Preston and three from Liverpool were jailed for almost 90 years for their roles in the conspiracy to supply drugs with a street value of around £1.2m throughout the Preston area.

Head of the Preston gang, Anthony Watkins, 28, who is serving 12 years after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs, and Mark Watkins, 24, of Merrick Avenue, Preston, who was jailed for six years nine months after admitting conspiring to supply cocaine, were given nominal orders for £1 but will have their finances revisited later this year.

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Ringleader of the Liverpool gang Michael Dineley, 27, of Ellerman Road, Liverpool, who is serving nine years after admitting supplying cocaine, must also pay a £1.

However, drug courier David Mochrie, 39, of West Road, Prenton, Liverpool, was ordered to pay £2,500 by Preston Crown Court, where he was previously jailed for nine years after admitting conspiring to supply cocaine and firearms offences.

Co-defendant Ryan Blakey, 18, of Lawson Street, Preston, who was jailed for three years after admitting conspiring to supply cocaine, must pay £500, while Joshua Knowles, 19, of Gammull Lane, Ribbleton, Preston, who is serving four years for conspiracy to supply, must stump up £252.

The probe also saw Sam Knowles, 20, and Jason Jackson, 26, both of no fixed abode, jailed for six years, Stephen Foster, 27, of Lapwing Close, Liverpool, caged for five years, Kasib Hussain, 35, of Burrow Road, Preston, sentenced to eight years and one month, and Wayne Small, 47, of New Hall Lane, Preston, jailed for five years for their roles in the conspiracy.

All were found to have no realisable assets and were given nominal orders of £1 by the court.