TWO MEN from Redditch were among those in a drugs gang jailed for more than 40 years.
The ring, which supplied cocaine across the UK, was led by Russell Turner from Kings Norton and was snared through a covert police operation.
Joshua Houghton, 22, of Mickleton Close, Oakenshaw and Brandon Newman, 23, of Paddock Lane, Oakenshaw, were seen meeting with Turner.
They were then followed by officers from West Midlands Police to a street in Walsall where drugs were believed to have been collected.
The pair were stopped in West Bromwich shortly afterwards and as officers approached the vehicle a package of 91 per cent pure cocaine was thrown from a window by Houghton. Newman meanwhile was found with keys to a stolen car.
On another occasion Declan Gilsenan, 28, of Walls Road, Bromsgrove, and Reece Thornton, 26, of Barnard Close, Rednal, met Turner in Stirchley where a package was handed over.
Gilsenan and Thornton drove off and their vehicle was tracked to a pick-up in Nottingham before being stopped in Newcastle.
More than £60,000 worth of crack cocaine was found in the glove box of the car and and in a sports bag in the boot.
The investigation found Turner was sending them to Scotland.
On another occasion Turner was observed meeting with Noel Chisholm from Selly Oak in Kings Norton before one of his associates Reece Sheeran, from Selly Oak, handed over a parcel.
As Chisholm left in his car police officers pulled him over and seized cocaine worth around £300,000.
A search of his home also found a cannabis factory.
Almost £35,000 of suspected drugs money was also recovered from a van used by a known associate of Turner’s at services on the M42 last year.
Turner went to great lengths to hide his criminal activities – with officers believing he even swallowed a mobile phone SIM card to avoid his links being expose.
Turner and his team of Class A dealers were rumbled by the West Midlands Regional Crime Unit (ROCU) who recovered large amounts of cash and drugs between October 2018 and January 2019.
The 25-year-old was established as the prime mover in the drugs ring and was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs alongside the others.
Thornton and Sheeran were convicted following a trial while the rest admitted the offence and Chisholm will appear for sentencing next month.
Houghton was jailed for five years and Newman for five years and six months.
Turner, of Selcombe Way, Kings Norton, was jailed for ten years and six months and Sheeran was handed eight years.
Gilsenan, 28, was caged for six years and Thornton, 26, for eight years.