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Six jailed after major York heroin and crack cocaine gang smashed by police

Drug gang members: left column, top to bottom: Kelly Louise Hill, Leel Damian Johnstone,  Jake Myers; middle column, top Gerrard Parkins, bottom, Anthony Wright; right column top to bottom;  Christopher James Watt, Samantha Milner, Lee Hayes <i>(Image: North Yorkshire Police)</i>
Drug gang members: left column, top to bottom: Kelly Louise Hill, Leel Damian Johnstone, Jake Myers; middle column, top Gerrard Parkins, bottom, Anthony Wright; right column top to bottom; Christopher James Watt, Samantha Milner, Lee Hayes (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

SIX members of a gang that made tens of thousands of pounds selling heroin and cocaine on the streets of York and Scarborough have been jailed.

Some gang members continued dealing in drugs in North Yorkshire and elsewhere after police closed down the drug pipeline and arrested them, York Crown Court heard.

One is now serving more than 10 years and two more than seven years each. Two more gang members will be sentenced in January.

Police Constable Dave Williamson, from North Yorkshire Police’s Intelligence Unit, said: “This was a significant County Lines drug-dealing conspiracy running between Liverpool, York and Scarborough.

"We worked hard to dismantle it piece by piece and it is pleasing that those involved have been brought to justice.

“Together with our community partners, we are doing everything in our power to clamp down hard on drug-related crime. We are more determined than ever to put a stop to the misery and heartache it creates.”

Timothy Jacobs, prosecuting, told York Crown Court that Liverpool gangsters set up the Scouse-Mikey county line to York and the Scouse-Jonno line to Scarborough - bringing heroin and cocaine from Liverpool to the two Yorkshire urban areas - and “manipulating” local users into selling drugs on the streets.

They sent out bulk phone adverts to drug addicts when drugs were available and siphoned £23,000 of criminal profits back to the top man, Gerrard Parkins, said the barrister.

York Press: Drug gang leader Gerrard Parkins
York Press: Drug gang leader Gerrard Parkins

Drug gang leader Gerrard Parkins (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

 

Parkins refused to attend the hearing via a video link from the prison where he is serving a seven-year prison sentence for supplying drugs elsewhere in the country. He will be sentenced in January along with fellow Liverpudlian and senior member of the gang Anthony Wright, 31, who was too ill to attend court.

York Crown Court heard that among those in the dock were Kelly Hill of York, who had held down a responsible job until she unexpectedly lost it and Anthony Lee Ian Winton, who used to have his own legitimate Scarborough business.

Both had turned to drugs to cope with downturns in their circumstances, York Crown Court heard.

All 10 defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine. Parkins, as well as Jake Myers, 23, and Lee Hayes, 28, both of no fixed address, also pleaded guilty to having criminal cash. Some only admitted being involved for part of the conspiracy.

Hill had previously pleaded guilty to being part of another heroin and cocaine dealing gang that operated between September 2018 and May 2019 in North Yorkshire.

York Press: Cocaine
York Press: Cocaine

Cocaine (Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images)

Mr Jacobs said that Liverpudlian Parkins, 26, was the “top man” and £23,000 was found in his bank account. The York part of the conspiracy ran from February 20, 2019 to September 19, 2019. The Scarborough part of the conspiracy from April 4, 2019 to September 27, 2019. The Liverpool-based gang also ran a county line to Norwich.

Immediately below Parkins in the gang were Hayes and Wright. Myers was involved in moving the drugs from Liverpool to North Yorkshire.

Four York and North Yorkshire people were on the next tier and at the bottom of the hierarchy were two women who allowed their premises to be used by the gang, Jody Elizabeth Edwards and Samantha Milner, said Mr Jacobs.