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Police: 'We've smashed North Tyneside drugs ring'

Iain Kennedy, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug and Possession with intent Supply Class A drug a Photo:

A drugs ring has been smashed in North Tyneside with 12 people now convicted at court, police say.

They had previously pleaded guilty to drugs offences and were sentenced on May 27 at Newcastle Crown Court.

They are:

Iain Kennedy, 31 years of Means Drive, Burradon, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Iain Kennedy

Kevin Hodgeson, 31 years of Links Road, Cullercoats, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine), Possession of Class C drugs (Anabolic Steroids) and three counts of Supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine) and also sentenced to five years.

Kevin Hodgeson

Kevin Turner, 30 years of Springwell Avenue, Newcastle, charged with eight counts of Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 16 months jail.

Kevin Turner

Colin Devlin, 40 years, of South Parade, Whitley Bay, charged with five counts of being concerned in the Supply of Class B drug (Cannabis) and five counts of handling stolen goods and handed a sentence of 16months suspended for 24 months.

Colin Devlin

Michael Anderson, 24 years, of Cambridge Avenue, Whitley Bay, charged with five counts of supplying Class B drug (Cannabis) and two counts of handling stolen goods and given a sentence of 62 weeks suspended for 18 months.

Michael Anderson

Holly Watson, 25 years of Means Drive, Burradon, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Possession with intent Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and given a sentence of 9 month suspended for 12 months.

Holly Watson

Michael Latimer, 29 years of Garleigh Close, Killingworth, charged with Conspiracy to Supply Class A drug (Cocaine) and Supplying Class A Drug (Cocaine) a sentence of 24 month suspended for 24 months.

Michael Latimer

Shaun Robertson, 33 years of Saker Place, Wallsend, charged with three counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin), Possession Class A drug (Heroin) and Offering to Supply Class C drug Valium and given a sentence of 15 months suspended for 18 months.

Shaun Robertson

William Gordon, 30 years of East View Terrace, Dudley, charged with two counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 15 months suspended for 18 months.

William Gordon

David Jackson, 28 years, of Church Street, Seaham), charged with Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 15 months suspended for 18 months.

David Jackson

Clare Grieveson, 40 years of Shields Road, Byker, charged with three counts Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and one count of being concerned in Supply Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months.

Clare Grieveson

John Mills, 21 years of Shields Road, Byker, charged with two counts of being concerned in Supply of Class A drug (Heroin) and sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months.

John Mills

Three other men caught as part of Operation Orion had already been sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court at an earlier date.

They include:

Stuart Richardson, aged 38 years of Cambridge Avenue, Whitley Bay, appeared at court on 15/09/15 charged with four counts of Supplying Class A drug (Cocaine) and was sentenced to a total of 24 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Stuart Richardson

Gavin Jones, aged 38 years of Norfolk Street Sunderland, appeared at court on 24/02/16 charged with supplying a Class A drug (Heroin) and was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, Drug Rehabilitation and Supervision requirement for 12 months.

Gavin Jones

William Flynn, aged 36 years of Newcastle Road, Newsham, Blyth appeared at court on 04/04/16 charged with supplying a Class A drug (Heroin) and was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, Rehabilitation Activity requirement of 45 days

William Flynn

'Operation Orion targeted the supply of Class A drugs, heroin and cocaine in North Tyneside. It also focused on the resulting crimes drugs users resorted to, to pay for their habit.

Police carried out raids searching 22 address across North Tyneside and Newcastle in two days of coordinated strikes during May 2015.

As a result of this activity police also seized £10,273 in cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act, 30 people were arrested for offences including; supplying drugs, burglary, theft from vehicles and handling stolen goods.

Officers seized heroin with a street value of over £6,000 and cocaine with a street value of over £1,350 was also recovered along with other drugs including MDMA (Ecstasy), Diazepam, Cannabis and Anabolic Steroids. Following further enquiries by officers £3,500 worth of stolen property was recovered and returned to victims, including mobile phones, vehicle keys, laptops and tablet devices.

The operation also led to the detection of almost 20 acquisitive crimes: five thefts from vehicles, nine vehicle interference offences, two burglaries and two other thefts.

"This operation is an excellent example of how the local community and wider partnership can stand together to tackle complex issues of crime, anti-social behaviour and vulnerability. Operation Orion was instigated as a direct result of community feedback and the active involvement of the Whitley Bay Community Task was a key part of the operations success.

"Vulnerability is at the heart of everything we do and whilst one key part of the operation was to target the organised sale and distribution of class A drugs at the same time we were working with key partners to signpost and support users away from drug addiction, to target rogue landlords and problem premises."

– Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt of Northern Area Command

"The Whitley Bay Community Task Force was set up in response to concerns among local residents and to improve quality of life for people in the town and make it a great place to live, work and visit. I was privileged to lead the task force and help carry out some great work with the community and our partners.

"Successful prosecutions of those involved in drug-related offences like these are a demonstration of the lasting impact of the excellent work we have done together, such as significantly reducing crime and anti-social behaviour."

– Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside