Dealer caged after flooding Blackpool's streets with drugs

Date published: 15 November 2018

One man from Middleton has admitted being the ring leader of a gang of 15 people, which included his brother and sister, who planned to flood the streets of Blackpool with cocaine and cannabis.

Operation Jennet was a Lancashire Constabulary Serious Crime Team investigation into the large scale supply of class A drugs (Cocaine), class B drugs (cannabis) and money laundering in the Fylde Coast and throughout the United Kingdom.

Thirty-three-year-old Anthony Gill, from Worcester Road in Middleton, was handed 14 years behind bars while the other members of the gang were jailed for a total of more than a century.

The enterprise, which was also headed by Anthony’s brother, Bradley Gill, from Blackpool, included their sister Jessica Lang, the girlfriend of one of their trusted associates Scott Le Drew.

Together with other distributors of controlled drugs, they coordinated the supply of significant amounts of Class A and B drugs in the North West of England.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Dixon, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious Crime Team, said: “This organised criminal gang was involved in bringing huge amounts of Class A drugs into Blackpool and profiting from their illicit trade.

“I would like to reassure the public we will keep up the pressure on those involved in serious and organised crime in Lancashire, continually striving to protect the most vulnerable.

"We will relentlessly pursue these offenders and put them before the courts to make our streets safer.”

Anthony Gill operated as the head of the head of the Organised Crime Group and was involved in sourcing drugs, predominantly cocaine, from his criminal contacts.

He organised the handover of cash and deliveries of cocaine together with his brother Bradley Gill and made use of encrypted phones to communicate with other conspirators.

Bradley Gill assisted his brother by controlling the Blackpool-based cash and drug couriers and dealing with the distributors who took cocaine from the Gills’ stock.

He was also in contact with ‘upstream’ drug suppliers from outside Blackpool.

Daryl Wellings worked for the Gills as a cash collector for the Gills, gathering in money from the Blackpool-based distributors and handing it to the cash couriers of the Gills’ suppliers.

He was also involved in the storing and adulterating of cocaine.

Scott Le Drew was the then partner of Jessica Lang.

He was also involved in the distribution of drugs on behalf of the Gills.

In 2017, he took over Wellings’ role as the Gills’ primary cash collector, gathering in drugs money from the distributors in Blackpool.

John Casey was also a distributor who sourced cocaine from the Gills and was in contact with the Gills’ cash and drugs couriers during the period of the conspiracy.

Bradley Joseph McSpirit also sourced significant amounts of cocaine from the Gills for onward distribution.

He was also involved in deliveries of cocaine on the Gills’ behalf.

Declan Morgan was a distributor of cannabis and cocaine that he sourced from the Gills.

There was evidence of him meeting with Wellings and audio material where Morgan was handing over money in payment for cocaine and cannabis.

Audio recordings of Le Drew and Lang demonstrated that she was aware of his activities and was with him when he was carrying out his work on her brothers’ behalf.

She participated in the conspiracies by passing on messages between other conspirators and she often directed and instructed Le Drew on how he should conduct his cash collections.

Blu Leahy also sourced cocaine from the Gills for onward distribution.

When his home was searched, the police recovered some small snap bags containing cocaine, a tick list and over £1,800 in cash.

He was heard on the audio recovered from Le Drew’s vehicle conducting what the Crown says were handovers of cash in payment for cocaine.

Joseph Murphy acted as a trusted courier/custodian for the Gills, receiving cocaine from upstream suppliers and moving it on to distributors.

He was in direct contact with the Gills and with dealers responsible for the onward distribution of the cocaine.

Steven Miller also sourced cocaine from Wellings.

He too was heard giving money to Le Drew in payment for cocaine.

There are text messages demonstrating that Miller was himself a cocaine distributor and the evidence also demonstrated that he used Wellings’ “graft” (or drugs) phone.

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