JAILED: Drugs gang dealt cocaine across Wolverhampton from pub base
A pub-based drug dealing gang who supplied cocaine across Wolverhampton have been locked up for a combined 20 years
The gang operated out of the now-shutdown Talisman pub in the Scotlands estate, where they conducted deals worth up to £10,000 and ferried drugs to other parts of the city.
Six of the group have now been convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine, with four of them locked up for a total of 21 years and seven months.
The five men and one woman, all from Wolverhampton, were arrested in November last year on suspicion of supplying Class A drugs since July 2017.
A further search of the pub, which has been earmarked for housing, uncovered a raft of stolen power tools which were being sold by 52-year-old gang member Duncan McGregor.
McGregor was among four men, who all lived within half a mile of the pub, who are now in prison after pleading guilty to supplying the drugs at Birmingham Crown Court.
- Jack Carrier, 29, of Highfield Avenue, Underhill, was jailed for five years and seven months
- McGregor, 52, of Westcroft Avenue, Underhill, was jailed for five years and four months
- Gary Manderson, 36, of Underhill Lane, Underhill, was jailed for five years and four months
- Jake Simpson, 26, of Blackwood Avenue in Wood Hayes, was jailed for four years and eight months
The other two gang members – 38-year-old John Dixon and 24-year-old Alex Simpkiss – denied the charge but were convicted after a trial.
Dixon, of Carisbrooke Road, and Simpkiss, of Blackwood Avenue, were both handed 18-month suspended prison sentences by the judge.
The pub in Wildtree Avenue was shut down in December last year in the aftermath of the police raids.
It had previously been forced to close in 2016 when it was owned by Punch Taverns and crack cocaine, digital scales and cannabis were found in the bar and toilets.
WATCH: Footage shows 2016 police raid
Following a protest from neighbours and customers, the pub was allowed to reopen under certain conditions and was bought by Star Pubs & Bars in March last year.
However an undercover police operation again found evidence of gangs operating from the pub.
At the licence hearing in December, Star Pubs & Bars argued The Talisman was a community asset but police said an organised crime gang in its third generation was operating from the pub and its licence was revoked.
Supt Tom Chisholm, from Wolverhampton Police, said: "The pub was at the heart of the illegal trade of Class A drugs which were flooding onto the streets of Wolverhampton.
"Drugs can cost lives and cause other crimes which further impact on our communities as users try to fund their habits.
"Through our covert operation we were able to expose this illegal business along with recovering a range of stolen items from the site.
"We cut off a significant source of drugs in the city and we won’t relent in our drive to put anyone who thinks they can trade illegal substances in our city behind bars."
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