|Fulham Man Part of Gang That Supplied 'Huge Quantities' of Cocaine|
Callum Doherty convicted with six others after nine week trial
A man from Fulham has been jailed for 14 years after being found guilty of being part of a criminal network that police believe supplied over a tonne of cocaine.
29-year-old Callum Doherty of Strode Road had responsibility for managing supply within a gang which evidence showed was turning over millions of pounds a week. He was sentenced along with six others between Monday, 13 and Wednesday, 15 January at Kingston Crown Court in a case which was the culmination of a three year operation by the police in which they dismantled at least 20 criminal networks, seized more than 280kg of cocaine, 8.5kg of heroin, 15,000 MDMA tablets and 45kg of cannabis and recovered 12 viable firearms – including one submachine gun and associated ammunition.
Overall they made 103 arrests and 92 people were charged with a range of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, the possession and supply of firearms, and money laundering.
The seven defendants in the final case were convicted of being involved in one conspiracy under this operation which ran between December 2016 and January 2018. During this time the group transported cocaine from the West Midlands to a network of safe houses around London. From these locations they used runners to supply cocaine across London and beyond. Officers discovered evidence of at least 38 trips to the West Midlands. Digital devices and documentation gathered throughout provided evidence that this particular network supplied more than a tonne of cocaine across the south of England.
This case was so lengthy and complex it meant ahead of the nine-week trial the Met’s Specialist Crime Command were required to prepare more than 150,000 pages of evidence. The jury bundles were so large they were loaded onto tablets for both jury and counsel. This trial alone involved the collation and preparation of half a million lines of digital data, and the production of months’ worth of investigative, arrest and seizure material.
Officers used a range of overt and covert tactics to identify and arrest this group who regularly used highly encrypted mobile phones and pay as you go devices in order to avoid law enforcement detection. They also used a series of illicit means to launder the proceeds of their criminality.
On the occasions where drugs were seized, the amounts were significant. Between 7 December 2016 and 4 January 2018, 121kgs of cocaine was seized. The remainder was seized from the addresses of those arrested, along with £50,000 cash and a stolen painting worth in excess of £1 million. Officers recovered a number of ledgers and documents which indicated that in early February 2017 the turnover of the conspiracy within the space of seven to ten days was approximately £2.7 million.
Enquiries led detectives to discover Dean Beeton from Watford organised the buying and selling of commercial amounts of high-purity cocaine. Throughout the conspiracy he used at least 21 pay as you go phones and four heavily encrypted devices to prevent his criminality from being detected.
Beeton ran the operation with Perry Davies, Gary Piper and Giovanni Luciano all of whom were from the Watford area. Davies helped organise others within the network; he too was involved in the purchase and distribution of the drugs. Doherty, along with Jason Holland from Chalfont St Giles and Mark Oldfield helped with the management of the supply. Holland was also heavily involved in the purchase and sale of drugs and became the group’s trusted courier to the West Midlands.
Luciano was already serving a jail sentence for a previous cocaine supply offence whilst organising the distribution of Class A drugs in this conspiracy. He was using devices smuggled into prison to organise the supply to customers across London and beyond.
Temporary Detective Superintendent Danny Gosling from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said, “The sentencing of these seven men marks the end of this investigation, and the end of a long-running, complex and sophisticated operation which has resulted in the conviction of more than 100 individuals for being involved in the supply of drugs.
“There is an inextricable link between the supply of drugs and the violence we have seen unfolding on the streets of London. By dismantling numerous networks responsible for the supply of drugs, this operation has undoubtedly prevented incidents of violence and potentially saved lives.
“The individuals in this case attempted to prevent us from detecting their criminality and used a range of physical and digital means to do so. But with the collaboration of specialist crime officers, forensic teams and analysts, we have been able to prove unquestionably their involvement.
“I am incredibly proud of all officers who supported the wider operation across the space of three years, dedicating incredible amounts of time and effort in bringing those involved before the courts. This investigation alone, and the subsequent trial, resulted in thousands and thousands of files and pieces of evidence, all of which supported the case against these men. Across the lifetime of this wider job, hundreds of thousands of documents and millions of lines of digital evidence would have been scoured by teams in order to build a case in each investigation.
“This should reassure our communities and those affected by violence that officers across the MPS are working day and night to tackle criminality contributing to violence and bring to justice those intent on fuelling these crimes for their own financial gain. Proactive, long-running operations like this not only target those dealing drugs on the streets, but identify and dismantle networks responsible for the supply of drugs across London and its neighbouring counties.”
HHJ Coello stated the following to the defendants on sentencing, “You cause the most damage as you are at the top of the tree, the supply fuels violence and acquisitive crime and does untold damage to communities.
“Huge quantities of cocaine were distributed in this case the purity range was between 80 – 90 %. Ledgers recovered by the police show the level of distribution. The ledgers were written and stored on encrypted devices. These provided snapshots of the level and scale of the conspiracy. There is no dispute that one main drug supply route was to the West Midlands. I am satisfied that the movement of one tonne of cocaine during this conspiracy is a conservative estimate.”
January 15, 2020