Weston men jailed for part in £1.5million drug gang
- Credit: Avon and Somerset Police
WESTON’S streets are ‘safer’ after four criminals were handed a combined 33-year jail sentence for their involvement in a £1.5million drug gang.
The four men, who all live in the town, were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Monday – the result of a three-and-a-half-month investigation by Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers and Zephyr, the regional organised crime unit.
Garry Parkinson, Stephen Bailey, Simon Kellaway and Shaun Smith admitted to conspiring to supply class A and class B drugs, which included thousands of ecstasy tablets, 50kgs of amphetamine and 556 grams of cocaine.
Police also confiscated 1.2kgs of cannabis, 10,300 class C tablets, 21kgs of mixing agent, a pill-making machine plus vacuum packing machines and bags after arrests were made on March 14.
Bailey and Parkinson were arrested on the A370 near Flax Bourton where Parkinson admitted he had 50kg of amphetamine in the car but told police it ‘was not the driver’s (Bailey) fault’. The two other men were arrested later that day.
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Parkinson, aged 50, of Paragon Road, was jailed for 12 years, 38-year-old Kellaway, of Longridge Way, was sentenced to eight years in prison, Smith, aged 49, of Swiss Road, was handed seven years and Bailey, aged 45, of Stanley Grove, was sentenced to a six-year jail term.
Detective Inspector Chris Saunders from Weston CID said: “I thought the sentence was very fair bearing in mind the sort of drugs we are talking about. The sentencing ranges from six to 12 years which is a good result.
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“Weston’s streets are safer with these men behind bars.”
Prosecutor Richard Posner told the court the group was trafficking drugs around the South West area from December last year to March and officers conducted surveillance on them.
He said: “Garry Parkinson performed a leading role in the conspiracy and changed his mobile number 21 times in the months prior to his arrest. Kellaway was involved in storing drugs and distributing them to customers and Shaun Smith stored drugs and equipment for the group – without him what Kellaway and Parkinson were doing would not have worked.”
He said Bailey appeared to be a courier for the gang and the whole operation would have been worth £1.5million.
Mr Posner added: “Parkinson had been using the profits to fund a lifestyle he would not have otherwise been able to afford.
“He had been staying at a holiday park in Devon 21 times between April and December spending £9,886 in cash, as well as gambling and making cash payments for someone relating to cosmetic surgery.”
The Zephyr forfeiture team were also successful in securing a five-year serious crime prevention order against Parkinson, which places restrictions on change of address, travel, bank accounts, computers and phones when he is released from jail.
DI Saunders added: “Zephyr allowed us to stretch our wings and go for bigger suspects.
“They allow the resources of Weston to hit bigger criminals and I want to make it clear we take controlled drug use seriously.
“The more serious levels will always get looked at and there is no place to hide for drug dealers.
“Residents sometimes worry police are doing nothing about it but we are doing it discreetly and we urge people to come forward with information and we will take their reports very seriously indeed.”