A MAN from Bromsgrove and one from Rednal were among those in a drugs gang jailed for more than 40 years.
Declan Gilsenan, 28, of Walls Road, Bromsgrove, was caged for six years and Reece Thornton, 26, of Barnard Close, Rednal, for eight years.
The ring, which supplied cocaine across the UK, was snared by a covert police operation, led by Russell Turner from Kings Norton.
He went to great lengths to hide his criminal activities – with officers believing he even swallowed a mobile phone SIM card to avoid his links being expose.
Turner and his team of Class A dealers were rumbled by the West Midlands Regional Crime Unit (ROCU) who recovered large amounts of cash and drugs between October 2018 and January 2019.
Turner was seen meeting associates Thornton and Gilsenan in Stirchley where a package was handed over.
Gilsenan and Thornton drove off and their vehicle was tracked to a pick-up in Nottingham before being stopped in Newcastle.
More than £60,000 worth of crack cocaine was found in the glove box of the car and and in a sports bag in the boot.
The investigation found Turner was sending them to Scotland.
Joshua Houghton, 22, of Mickleton Close, Redditch, and Brandon Newman, 23, of Paddock Lane, Redditch, were also seen meeting with Turner later that same month and discreetly followed to a street in Walsall where drugs were believed to have been collected.
The pair were stopped in West Bromwich shortly afterwards and as officers approached the vehicle a package of 91 per cent pure cocaine was thrown from a window by Houghton while Newman was found with keys to a stolen car.
On another occasion Turner was observed meeting with Noel Chisholm from Selly Oak in Kings Norton before one of his associates Reece Sheeran, from Selly Oak, handed over a parcel.
As Chisholm left in his car police officers pulled him over and seized cocaine worth around £300,000. A search of his home also found a cannabis factory.
Almost £35,000 of suspected drugs money were recovered from a van used by a known associate of Turner’s at services on the M42 last year.
Turner had twice previously been arrested on suspicion of unrelated matters and on each occasion his phone on him had been broken and with no SIM card – presumed to have been eaten.
The 25-year-old was established as the prime mover in the drugs ring and was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs alongside the others.
Thornton and Sheeran were convicted following a trial while the rest admitted the offence and Chisholm will appear for sentencing next month.
Turner, of Selcombe Way, Kings Norton, was jailed for ten years and six months, Houghton was handed five years behind bars, Newman was sentenced to five years and six months and Sheeran was handed eight years.
Det Ch Insp Will Henley, of ROCU, said: “Turner was the ringleader of this drugs network which not only sought to operate in the West Midlands but further across the UK.
“We recovered a significant amount of cocaine which was destined to hit the streets and only cause further crime and misery within communities.
“Through the diligent work of officers and our covert operation we were able to trace those at the heart of drugs ring to ensure it was shut down.”