Judge Commends Officer and Staff Member after Lengthy and Complex Drugs Investigation
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A Judge has commended a Cleveland Police officer and staff member after an organised criminal group supplying class A drugs was disrupted.
The six men were sentenced to almost 50 years in prison after an investigation began in August 2020, when a vehicle was intercepted in Cleveland with 2.5kg of cocaine hidden under the passenger seat.
Further enquiries identified that class A drugs were being sent by Geordan Hopper and Luke Jessop from the West Yorkshire area, destined for the homes of Patrick Bradley and Nico Easton in Thornaby.
Previous trips carried out by Hopper and Jessop were also believed to have been further deliveries of drugs to Bradley and Easton.
After a lengthy and complex investigation, Patrick Bradley, Nico Easton and Lee Bennett pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and Ron Sills to being in possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
A trial led to the convictions of Geordan Hopper and Luke Jessop, who were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
A total of 49 years and 8 months in prison was handed down by the Judge, including sentences of:
- Luke Jessop from Dewsbury – 12 years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
- Patrick Bradley from Thornaby - 10 years 6 months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and 3 years for money laundering
- Geordan Hopper from Knottingley – 10 years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
- Nico Easton from Stockton – 6 years and 3 months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
- Ron Sills from Stockton – 4 years and 6 months for possession with the intent to supply Class A drugs
- Lee Bennett from Thornaby – 3 years and 5 months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “We welcome the sentences that have been passed to this organised crime group who were responsible for large-scale distribution of Class A drugs across the Cleveland area.
“Cleveland Police are dedicated in bringing those that are responsible for the supply of controlled drugs to justice in order to tackle criminality and to protect our communities.
“This was a complex, lengthy investigation which resulted in the Judge awarding a Cleveland Police officer and staff member involved with a commendation.”