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18 April 2011, 15:07
A sixth man has been jailed for 13 years for his involvement in a plot to flood Nottinghamshire with heroin and amphetamine.
David Barrett, 44, formerly of Bestwood, was convicted by a jury today following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
Barrett was arrested during an investigation by the force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit into the supply of drugs and associated organised crime.
He was charged with the supply of amphetamines between 14 March and 4 April 2009 and the supply of heroin between 23 April and 22 October 2009.
He was jailed for five years for the amphetamine charge and 13 years for the heroin charge, to run concurrently.The court heard that Barrett recruited a number of men to bring amphetamines and heroin into Nottinghamshire for wider distribution.
The investigation began in April 2009 when police carried out a drugs warrant at a house in Evedon Walk, Bestwood, Nottingham.Officers discovered that drugs were being mixed at the address and recovered 17kg of amphetamines, which had an estimated street value of around £170,000.
Barrett’s conviction comes after five other men were jailed for their part in the large-scale operation.Mark Badder, 37, and Paul Easom, 39, from Bestwood, were arrested following the discovery. Badder was later jailed for five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply amphetamine and cannabis and possession of ammunition. Easom was jailed for five years after admitting conspiring to supply amphetamine and for the possession of a prohibited weapon.
Then in July 2009 Jason Boulton, 38, from Bestwood, was arrested following the seizure of 0.6kg of heroin, which had an estimated street value of around £40,000.
This was as a result of a police surveillance operation which showed Boulton meeting in a car park in Sherwood, with a man called Atanas Aleksandrov, who had travelled from Birmingham to bring the heroin to Nottingham. Boulton later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a controlled substance and was jailed for three-and-a-half years. In September 2009 Jamie Merrin, 31, from Bestwood, was arrested after he travelled to the M42 Tamworth Services where he met with Aleksandrov and took a package, containing the drugs, from him. He then travelled back to Nottingham where he was found with almost 1kg heroin on him, which had a street value of around £66,000.
Merrin pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin and was sentenced to four-and-a-half year’s imprisonment. Aleksandrov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and is awaiting sentence.Barrett was arrested in October 2009 after mobile phone analysis showed that he had been responsible for orchestrating the movements of the other five men in relation to drug supply.
Detective Superintendent Andy Dickin, from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, led the investigation. He said: “This was an organised and sophisticated operation between a group of people who had been mixing and distributing drugs in Nottinghamshire and the wider area.
“They were involved in organised criminality and thought they were above the law. Barrett in particular made sure he did not get his hands dirty, but rather instructed others to carry out his drug dealing tasks.
“Our communities are undoubtedly safer and more secure with these men behind bars and a substantial amount of drugs have been taken off the streets.
“We will continue to target those involved in organised crime and those who orchestrate the supply and distribution of drugs into our communities.
“Today’s verdict shows that those who are involved in this type of criminality will be pursued and convicted by Nottinghamshire Police and Barrett’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences.
“Our message is simple – drugs and organised crime will not be tolerated in Nottinghamshire.”