Seven people who were involved in a drugs conspiracy operation worth over half-a-million pounds have been jailed for a total of more than 42 years.
North Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit seized £561,000 worth of heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine from various address in Harrogate as they uncovered the operation which ran between February and December 2012.
Joseph McIntyre (pictured above), the gang’s director, usually distanced himself from the drugs but was observed by the police hiding 3kg of methlamphetamine in undergrowth at the cemetery on 2 November 2012.
Three days later he and his sister, Philomena McIntyre, and their brother Thomas McIntyre were seen again at the cemetery frantically searching for the drugs after they had been recovered by the police.
Joseph McIntyre, aged 37, of Fountains Avenue, Harrogate, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment on Monday 7 July 2014, following a trial at Teesside Crown Court, after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
Philomena McIntyre, aged 36, of Stanhope Drive, Harrogate, who helped with the storament of the drugs was also found guilty but was not sentenced today.
Thomas McIntyre, aged 31, of Bilton Drive, Harrogate, acted as a courier and stood in for Joseph at the head of the operation when he was on holiday. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
Joseph McIntyre’s partner, Fay Read, was also found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
Read, aged 24, of Fountains Avenue, Harrogate, was handed a four year jail term.
Joseph McIntyre also used various other people to store, cut and transport the drugs for him.
Martin Clayton, aged 50, of Forest Grange Close, was McIntyre’s chief courier. Police established he had made numerous trips to Bootle, on Merseyside, during the conspiracy.
On 20 November 2012, officers observed him picking up a package from Philomena McIntyre’s house before travelling to Bootle, where he passed the parcel through his car window to James Kenny, before driving straight back to Harrogate.
Kenny, aged 30, of Partington Avenue, Bootle, worked for a drug dealing organisation in Merseyside who traded drugs with Joseph McIntyre.
Kenny, was jailed for two and a half years, for his part in the conspiracy.
Clayton’s part in the conspiracy was more than just ferrying the drugs around. He and his wife, Victoria Clayton, aged 54, of Albert Place, Harrogate, were also involved in cutting the drugs with bulking agent dextrose in their kitchen.
During a raid at the Clayton’s home on Albert Place in December 2012, officers found 5kgs of heroin worth £284,810. They also recovered 1kg of 44% purity amphetamine worth £80,000 and half-a-kilogram of cutting agents.
Police also found a drugs press and two pairs of digital scales containing traces of heroin.
Martin Clayton, who was the only member of the gang to plead guilty, is still awaiting sentence.
Victoria Clayton was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Another woman who was heavily involved in the conspiracy was Julie Scruton. She allowed drugs to be stored at her home on Lime Street, in Harrogate, and her husband’s car repair business on Chatsworth Road.
Officers conducted observations on David Scruton’s business premises and established that Julie had visited the garage outside opening hours 73 times between August and December 2012.
Joseph McIntyre, Philomena McIntyre, and Fay Read, were also observed visiting the garage outside business hours.
During a raid of the garage, officers recovered a substantial amount of Class A drugs. 1.5kg of heroin worth £95,830 was found under the floorboards in the loft, as well as 53.9 grams of cocaine, with a street value of £2,160, which was found in a filing cabinet.
Another raid at Julie’s home uncovered cocaine worth £1,330 and a batch of heroin with a value of £7,740 in the kitchen and dining room. In a bedroom and the garden shed, officers found 6kgs of amphetamine worth £60,000. Bulking agents were also found in the shed.
Philomena McIntyre’s fingerprints were found on a black bin bag which contained the drugs in the shed along with those of Russell Baker, Julie Scruton’s brother, who was living with her at the time.
Baker, aged 35, now of Robert Street, Harrogate, was also seen visiting his brother-in-law’s garage out of business hours. He was jailed for three years.
Julie Scruton was jailed for six years.
The jury were unable to reach a verdict on David Scruton’s involvement in the conspiracy.
Detective Inspector Mark Pearson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, welcomed the sentences: Every member of this gang played a significant part in the conspiracy, however Joseph McIntyre was undoubtedly the main man at the head of the operation.
He went to great lengths to ensure that he had little contact with the drugs, instead getting other people to store, cut, and courier the drugs for him.
McIntyre, also reaped the benefits of the conspiracy enjoying expensive foreign holidays and buying cars, which he paid for in cash.
The involvement of the other members of this organised crime group cannot be underestimated either. Without their commitment to bulking out the drugs to enhance McIntyre’s profits and their willingness to use their own homes and businesses to stash the supplies the conspiracy wouldn’t have continued for as long as it did.
Thankfully, due to some dedicated investigative work from North Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, the full extent of the conspiracy was unveiled and over half-a- million pounds worth of drugs were prevented of reaching the streets of Harrogate and beyond.