Mercy Shawn Mendes
A two-year drugs operation has put eight defendants behind bars.
The eight men pleaded guilty to drug offences after officers targeted them as part of Operation Bugle. On Friday they began a collective sentence of almost 20 years.
The chain was uncovered as part of the two-year operation where officers recovered 50 kilos of drugs, more than 60,000 pills along with four weapons and £25,000 in cash.
Colin Shaun McNally, 39, of Hannover Mill, Newcastle pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A (Cocaine) / B (Amphetamine and Cannabis) / C (BZP pills) drugs, plus one count of dangerous driving, and was jailed for six years.
Christopher Nuttall, 44, Lapwing Close, Liverpool pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B (Amphetamine and cannabis)/ C (BZP pills) drugs. He was jailed for four years.
Shaun Wilkinson, 26, Harelaw Grove, West Denton, Newcastle pleaded guilty to the supply of Class B (cannabis). He was jailed for two years.
John Beck, 28, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle pleased guilty to the cultivation of cannabis, dangerous driving and assisting an offender. He was jailed for three years.
Simon Robinson, 27, of Dovecot Street, Stockton on Tees pleaded guilty to money laundering. He received a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.
Thomas Quinn, 35, of Cheeseburn Gardens, Newcastle pleaded guilty to money laundering and was jailed for 18 months.
Anthony Hutchinson, 45, Robert Owen Gardens, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to being concerned in supply Class A (Cocaine) and was jailed for two years.
Michael O'Hagan, 48, Eastwood Gardens, Felling, Gateshead pleaded guilty to being concerned in supply Class B drugs (Amphetamine). He received a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.
Chief Inspector Steve Barron who lead the operation said: "This is one of the bigger operations we have run over the last few years to really target the big players in the drug fraternity.
"Taking down the head of the ring is a key part of tackling drug crime and today McNally has been taken off the streets and imprisoned. McNally will also be joined by his associates behind bars which again, should make a difference in taking harmful drugs off the streets.
"These sentences follow the conviction of four other men who were also uncovered as part of the operation. They were sentenced to in excess of twenty years imprisonment at previous hearings and they continue to serve these sentences.
"The recoveries during the course of this investigation are substantial and include drugs of all types and classifications. The additional recovery of two electric stun guns and a CS incapacitant spray also shows the capability of those involved in this drugs network.
"I say this as a warning to anyone involved in drugs - whether it be at the top of the network or the dealer further down the chain - we will take action on anyone involved in such criminality."