Posted on 6th November 2014
Top row, from left: David Stewart, Nicola Ward, John Walker, Alan Saunders, Michael George, Simon Wilsoncroft. Bottom row, from left: Simon Wray, Troy Brown, Francis Renner, Baldeep Bains, Imogen Mellor, Ricky Steadman.
Members of a drugs gang who supplied heroin and crack cocaine in Derby have been jailed for a total of more than 60 years.
Operation Rams was a lengthy investigation into a 15-strong network of dealers and their associates, who were led by David Stewart.
The gang ran a number of drugs supply ‘shops’ at addresses across Derby, pumping a large amount of the class A substances into the city.
Officers involved in the operation carried out a number of raids at flats and houses linked to the gang, including properties in St Chad’s Road, Grange Street and Drewry Court.
Meanwhile, an undercover officer infiltrated a group of drug users and visited the ‘shops’ to gather more intelligence.
The police effort paid off last year with the arrests of 15 members of the gang, who were all later charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.
They were all sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, November 4. Twelve were locked up, while three were handed suspended sentences.
Detective Sergeant Jonathan Smith said: “Operation Rams has been a lengthy investigation into organised crime in Derby.
“David Stewart and his associates were running a class A drugs supply ‘shop’ from various residential places, which involved exploiting vulnerable people for use of their premises.
“This was something they had done for a number of years.
“The Operation Redshank team led this meticulous investigation with the support of other colleagues in the police service, partners and other organisations.
“The partnership approach resulted in these defendants being prosecuted and sent to prison.
“Organised crime reaches deep into communities with crippling effects which are sometimes not noticed until it is too late.
“Within Derbyshire we tackle it head-on with operations such as this and we will continue to do so.”
The full sentences were:
David Stewart, 41, of no fixed addressed (ringleader): Eight years
Imogen Mellor, 25, of Mostyn Avenue, Littleover (second in command from January to May): Four years and eight months
Troy Brown, 21, of no fixed address (part of inner circle - very high-end significant role): Four years and eight months
Ricky Steadman, 28, of City Road, Derby (part of inner circle - very high end significant role): Six years
Simon Wray, 47, of Parker Street, Derby (part of inner circle - high end of significant role): Six years
Nicola Ward, 38, of Highfields Park Drive, Derby (very high end significant role): Four years and eight months
Alan Saunders, 51, of Masson Walk, Derby (part of inner circle - high end of significant role): Seven years
Baldeep Bains, 25, of Cannock Court, Derby (a significant role between June and September and allowed his address to be used): Three years and four months
Simon Wilsoncroft, 31, of Ashwood Close, Derby (became part of inner circle - a significant role between April and September): Three years and four months
John Walker, 53, of Buckland Close, Derby (predominantly responsible for transportation of gang members and drugs and allowed address to be used - significant role): Two years
Michael George, 33, of Mortimer Street, Allenton (significant role but not part of inner circle): Two years and eight months
Francis Renner, 29, of Siddals Road, Derby (allowed his premises to be used - a lesser role): Two years.
Nicollette Attenborough, 26, of Bainbridge Street, Derby (allowed her address to be used - high to lesser role): Two years, suspended for two years
Kirsty Bratby, 24, of Elmtree Avenue, Derby (significant role): Two years, suspended for two years
Kelly Thompson, 32, of No fixed address (lesser role): Two years, suspended for two years.