Sidmouth man sentenced for part in drugs gang

John Gill

John Gill - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth man has been sentenced to five years and seven months in prison for his part in an organised crime gang that brought cocaine and heroin to Exeter.

John Gill, 40, of Howarth Close, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin after police conducted a 16-month intelligence operation.

He received a more severe sentence than the other Exeter-based gang members as it was the third time he had been convicted of similar offences.

The 15 defendants, from Exeter and around London, are set to serve more than 70 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply class A controlled drugs or the concern in the supply of class A drugs.

The gang’s two leaders were each sentenced to eight years in prison.

Five other defendants from around the capital also received sentences of up to seven years and six months.

Two Exeter men were convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin and each received two years and eight months in prison.

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Five others from around Devon received prison sentences of up to three years for their involvement in the supply of heroin.

A group of seven men based in south west London travelled down to Devon up to five times a week to bring drugs into the city and facilitate drugs deals using local drug runners, before returning to London with cash.

They stayed at a number of addresses by intimidating vulnerable adults or drug users.

Drug dealers operated across Exeter city centre including Exe Street, College Road and Heavitree Road.

Detective Inspector Mark Waldron, senior investigating officer, said: “The sentences we have seen handed to this organised crime group today reflect the seriousness of their crimes.

“This group has been responsible for a large proportion of class A drug supply in Exeter and further afield for some time.

“This sends an important message to established crime groups in inner city areas.

“We will specifically target those gangs who bring violence, exploit vulnerable people and affect the quality of life for the people of Devon and Cornwall.”

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