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Investigation into drugs supply leads to 20 people in court

It started as an investigation in 2019 into an organised crime group involved in supplying cannabis and cocaine – and has ended with 20 people being sentenced in the courts.

Intensive work by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit had uncovered a well-established criminal arrangement between two men - Reece White and Joseph Black with White supplying Black with regular wholesale amounts of cocaine and cannabis.

But it was following the arrest of Black in August 2019 that further investigations into the pair led officers to identify more and more people who were involved in the supply of drugs - with 20 people being brought before the courts over the past couple of years.

Over the past three months, the defendants have been sentenced at Leicester Crown Court after all previously pleaded guilty to various drugs offences.

Officers had arrested Black on 21 August 2019 after he had met with White in Wigston where he had received a quarter of a kilogram of cannabis and 125g of cocaine. Black was stopped as he drove back to Derbyshire where he was found in possession of the drugs.

Examination of phones showed there had been a number of previous supplies between White and Black while also identifying that Black had his own customer base for the drugs. Black’s girlfriend Hannah Bradbury and associate Reece O’Connell were also found to be assisting him in the preparation and distribution of cannabis to customers.

Following the arrest of Black, White was found to focus his attention on developing and expanding his cannabis supplies. Officers identified Joshua Burns from the West Midlands area who was shown to be operating commercial cannabis factories and supplying White with multiple kilogram amounts of cannabis.

In October 2019, Burns was seen by officers to meet with White and with another man - Ryan Steers - in the Wigston area and supply multiple kilogram amounts of cannabis. White and Steers then drove away where their car was subsequently stop checked by police. The vehicle was found to contain around two kilograms of cannabis. Evidence recovered showed the cannabis was intended for a man by the name of Benjamin McDonagh.

White’s home was also searched where a further eight kilograms of cannabis were found as well as two ounces of cocaine in a vehicle parked outside.

Further investigation then showed that White was also involved with a network of cannabis suppliers. These included Dillon Kidger, Tommy Squires, Shay Allen, Perry Clarke, Sonny Clarke, Robert Telford, Adam Mulla and Carolyn Spencer.

It was then found Kidger was involved in a further conspiracy to supply cannabis with another man - Jason Chatwani. It was also found that Sonny Clarke was being assisted in supplying cannabis by Nikita Dell and that they supplied wholesale amounts of cannabis to a man named Michael Wright.

Robert Telford was also found to be using his brother Thomas Telford’s address in Syston to supply the cannabis which he had received from White. A further criminal associate of the group Faisal Mohammed was found to have been importing cannabis for supply within the group from the United States. A number of kilograms of cannabis was evidenced as being imported as part of the investigation.

The people involved were all arrested and charged with various offences with admissions to offences being made during court hearings held at Leicester Crown Court during 2020, 2021 and 2022.


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