A gang which flooded St Annes with Class A drugs has been jailed for almost 30 years.
Operation Kibister was a complex investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s West Targeted Crime Unit into the large scale supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
Over the course of the police operation it’s estimated the gang supplied at least £300k of Class A drugs in the area.
West TCU investigated the group from February until May 2016 in relation to conspiracy to supply the drugs.
The main protagonists were Peter Jessop and Dean Wilcott, from Liverpool. They would be collected each day except Sunday by local drug users who formed a significant part of the operation.
They in turn would be paid in drugs.
Once in the St Annes area they spent the day dealing crack cocaine and heroin. They were driven around by either Michael Parkin, Richard Townsend, Anthony Hardwick, or Nicola O’Toole.
At the end of the day they were returned home.
At the conclusion of the operation on the May4, Wilcott was arrested after being observed conducting numerous drug deals in St Annes. He was found with a significant amount of drugs and cash and the main “graft” mobile phone that had been used throughout the operation.
Warrants were executed in Liverpool and Peter Jessop was arrested at Ladysmith Road. A significant amount of drugs and cash were also located along with scales used to weigh out the drugs.
The group all pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs at Preston Crown Court in July.
On Thursday, the conspirators appeared before Judge Adkins at Preston Crown Court for sentence.
The judge told the group that the aggravating factors were the fact that the main principals travelled from the Liverpool area to St Annes to conduct their drug dealing on a commercial scale.
He said that the drivers, even though drug dependant, were well aware of their actions when transporting the pair from Liverpool to St Annes and that this made them as culpable. They had done each journey on numerous occasions.
Chief Inspector Lee Wilson, of Blackpool Police, said: “I am really pleased with the sentences which follow a long and complex investigation into these criminals and their drug dealing activities.
“We have dismantled a gang responsible for the supply of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of ass A drugs, namely Heroin and Crack Cocaine.
“That these people have now been removed from our neighbourhoods is down to the determination and professionalism of the staff of Lancashire Constabulary in pursuing and bringing to justice organised and lifestyle criminals who blight our communities. I ask the public for their continued support in reporting information which is crucial to our efforts to keep our neighbourhoods safe and trying to prevent organised crime gangs from operating.
“Lastly, I hope that these sentences show just how determined we are, supported by our communities, in preventing criminals from operating with impunity. If you are involved in this type of activity, we will find you, we will take you down and we will put you before the courts.”
Peter Jessop, 31, of Ladysmith Road in Fazakerley was jailed for six and a half years.
Dean WIlcott, 30, of Drake Crescent, Fazakerley, was jailed for six and a half years.
Richard Townsend , 48, of Waddington Road, St Annes, was jailed for five and a half years.
Michael Parkin, 47, of Elmhurst Road, St Annes, was jailed for four years and eight months.
Nicola O’Toole, 51, of Grosvenor Court, St Annes, was jailed for two years.
Anthony Hardwick, 47, of All Saints Road, St Annes, was jailed for two years.