24 February 2017
Members of an organised crime group who ran a moped delivery service for class A drugs have been jailed for over 60 years.
The group distributed more than 40 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated wholesale value of £1.4m, across London over a period of three weeks in February 2016
Analysis of their mobile devices revealed that they had sent a group text message to over 400 potential clients, bragging that they could deliver anywhere “…within 30mins central London and within an hour anywhere else”.
To mask their activity, the group used mopeds with modifications including ‘knowledge’ boards to mimic trainee taxi drivers as they delivered drugs across central London.
Details of the sentences for members of the group can be revealed today following the conclusion of the trial of Daniel Harris (33) from Theydon Bois in Epping, who was convicted of money laundering offences. The jury found him not guilty of conspiring to supply drugs.
Another 10 members of this crime group had been jailed at previous hearings after pleading guilty to conspiring to import and supply class A drugs.
Officers from the Organised Crime Partnership (OCP), a joint National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service unit, began investigating the group in the spring of 2015. In May 2015 officers observed Jay Tripp (34) from Fyfield, Essex using a telephone kiosk in Epping to contact other members of the group and arrange the supply of two kilos of heroin. The drugs were seized shortly afterwards.
Surveillance continued on the group, and in March 2016 officers arrested thirteen people, including Harris and Tripp, in a coordinated series of strikes across London and Essex. They seized over £164,600 cash, more than 10 kilos of class A drugs, 14 kilos of cutting agent, over 100 mobile phones and six mopeds.
Analysis of seized mobile devices provided officers with information about meetings and safe houses across London that were used to store class A drugs. Other messages showed that the group was planning to import 70 kilos of cocaine from Ecuador to Spain for onwards distribution across the UK.
Spencer Barnett from the Organised Crime Partnership said:
“This was a highly disciplined crime group who went to elaborate lengths to stay under the radar of law enforcement, using safe houses, throw-away mobile phones and mopeds to try and avoid detection. They spent the proceeds of their crime on hotels, holidays and gambling. At the time of their arrest the group was planning another significant importation of cocaine from South America which would have been used for street deals across London, impacting significantly upon communities.
“By dismantling their operation we have been able to prevent the harm that would have been caused.”
Pictures of the gang and some of the drugs and cash seized can be found on the NCA's Flickr feed.