Merseyside Police and Cheshire Constabulary are welcoming the sentences of 13 men and one woman for a total of 111.5 years imprisonment for firearm and drug conspiracy offences at Liverpool Crown Court today, Tuesday 14 June.
The charges relate to the investigations into drug supply in Cheshire and four shootings between September 2014 and April 2015 in the Speke, Whiston and Huyton areas of Merseyside.
- 31-year-old David McMullan of Birch Road, Huyton was sentenced to two life imprisonments with a minimum term of 12.5 years for conspiracy to possess firearms and arson with intent to endanger life, and four years for blackmail, to run concurrently
- 31-year-old Paul Remedios of Deansway, Widnes was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, five years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, five years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and three years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently
- 19-year-old Callum Tombs of Epping Avenue, Sutton Manor was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms
- 33-year-old Sean Smith of Arley Drive, Widnes was sentenced to six and a half years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms
- 27-year-old Scott Smith of Brookdale, Widnes was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, seven years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, five years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and three years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently
- 31-year-old Victoria Galloway of Birtley Court, Widnes was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, five years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply cocaine and two years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, to run concurrently
- 23-year-old Kieran Blair of no fixed abode was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, six years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, six years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and seven years for conspiracy to supply cannabis, all to run concurrently
- 48-year-old Andrew Hughes of Bechers, Widnes was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for conspiracy to possess firearms, five years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, five years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and five years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, all to run concurrently
- 26-year-old Michael Loughran of Bournemouth Close, Runcorn was sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis
- 25-year-old Stephen McCarten of Irwell Lane, Runcorn was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine
- 21-year-old Jordan Ferns of Peel House Lane, Widnes was sentenced to two years suspended for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine
- 25-year-old Daniel McGuire of Burton Close, Widnes was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine and possession of cannabis
- 19-year-old Tyrone Grimes of Smyth Road, Widnes was sentenced to five years imprisonment for possession of a Taser, 18 months for conspiracy to supply cannabis and six months for bringing a prohibited article into prison, to run consecutively
- 27-year-old Terence O'Donnell of Francine Close, Liverpool was sentenced to three years imprisonment for assisting an offender
On April 23, 2015, a warrant was execution by Cheshire Constabulary at a flat in Widnes, inside which an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ was discovered, including three firearms and drugs paraphernalia. A detailed forensic search was carried out at the property and numerous items were seized - this provided detectives with strong evidence that the flat was being used by an OCG for the supply of controlled drugs - and storage of a number of powerful weapons and viable ammunition.
Following forensic examination it was established that of the weapons recovered – a Glock, a Browning self-loading pistol and a St Etienne French revolver – the Glock had been used in four drive-by shootings in Merseyside, and the St Etienne revolver in one of these shootings.
The first shooting took place in Eastern Avenue, Speke on 23 September 2014. Two offenders arrived in the road on a scrambler bike at around 1.30pm and fired shots towards a man in the street, resulting in damage to a house.
The second incident happened in Blundells Lane, Whiston on 13 January, 2015. At around 8.00pm, a man was shot and injured as he walked along the road. He was taken to Whiston Hospital and found to have a bullet entry and exit wound over his right shoulder blade.
The third incident happened in Lincombe Road, Huyton on 11 March 2015. On this occasion, two men received gunshot wounds outside a house on Lincombe Road.
The fourth shooting took place on Copperwood Drive in Whiston on 10 April, 2015, after a chase involving occupants of an Audi firing shots at a VW Passat, which left a passenger of the VW Passat with serious injuries. The victim's life was saved but he was left with a severed spine and is now paralysed from the chest down.
David McMullan had also denied an offence of arson following an incident at Penmann Crescent, Halewood on 18 April, 2015. McMullan had already pleaded guilty to an offence of blackmail against a relative of the occupants of the address targeted in the arson attack.
Scott Smith, Kieran Blair and Andrew Hughes had previously admitted conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Tivendale from Merseyside Police Matrix Major Crime Unit said: "We are pleased that this reckless organised crime group has been removed from our streets for the foreseeable future. We have seen again that criminals who use firearms are throwing away their life and destroying that of others. The sentencing demonstrates just how strongly we will deal with those involved in gun crime and drug supply, and should strongly deter those who are considering this path of criminality.
"Serious and organised crime remains a priority for Merseyside Police, and we will continue to take positive action against those who blight our communities. Information from the public is vital and we will continue to act on all that we receive.
"My message to those engaged in organised crime is clear: we know who you are, we can see where you are operating, and we will come knocking."
Chief Inspector Mike Evans from Cheshire Constabulary said: “Today, members of an organised crime gang that brought misery, fear and intimidation to the streets of Widnes and Liverpool have collectively been jailed for a total of more than 110 years. The sentences handed down reflect the severity of their crimes and the significant impact that their behaviour had on local people.
“A property in Widnes was used as the ‘safehouse’ for the gang – it was here that they stored the firearms used in the shootings in Merseyside along with cash and other items. They brought their criminal activities to the streets of Widnes and often carried out their drug related activity in public places during the day and night with blatant disregard for anyone else.
“It became clear that the OCG was controlling drug distribution in Widnes. It was a significant drug dealing enterprise, who believed they were above the law and untouchable - now they are paying the ultimate price for their criminal activity.”
Chief Inspector Evans added: “A dedicated team of officers from both Cheshire and Merseyside Police have spent hours securing evidence, searching for witnesses and painstakingly analysing exhibits as part of this complex case to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice.
“Cheshire Constabulary is committed to tackling organised crime. We will not tolerate those who choose to come into Cheshire believing it is an easy target - be warned as it is only a matter of time before we catch up with you.
“Organised crime blights local communities and residents can rest assured that our efforts will continue. The successful conclusion of this case has resulted in a number of dangerous individuals being taken off the streets for a very long time.”
Cheshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, David Keane, said: “Having seen the threat posed by organised criminal gangs to our communities, I’d like to congratulate Chief Inspector Evans and his team for this excellent outcome. Removing these sorts of people from our communities, and our streets, will send a strong message to other criminal gangs that live, or operate, in Cheshire, that this police force will bring you to justice.”
Anyone who has any concerns regarding organised crime, weapons or drugs in Cheshire or anyone who is concerned about the impact of this type of crime on a family member, friend or neighbour is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101. If you would prefer to leave information anonymously, this can be done via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.