Drug gang members sentenced to 22 years

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SIX men were jailed for a total of 22 years on Friday for supplying drugs across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The men, from Bicester, Haddenham, Oxford and Wheatley, had pleaded guilty at earlier hearings following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, codenamed Operation Hedge.

More than 20 search warrants were carried out in Oxon and Bucks in March last year as part of the investigation.

Around £350,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis was discovered in the raids, as well as £50,000 in cash.

Det Supt David Poole, who led the investigation, said: “The six defendants pleaded guilty due to the overwhelming evidence. I would like to thank all those involved for bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

“Convicting all involved in this organised crime group is a significant achievement. They saw themselves as untouchable by law enforcement.”

Nicholas Dean, 46, of Roman Way in Bicester, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and two years and six months for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, to be served concurrently.

His brother Jason Dean, 44, from Ash Grove in Headington, was jailed for three years for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, and 18 months for money laundering, to be served consecutively.

Other gang members got jail sentences of between one and three-and-a-half years on a variety of drugs charges.

Court orders preventing the disposal of assets worth about £1.5 million, including £400,000 in bank accounts, were also enforced.

In addition, Thames Valley Police said it will be applying for Serious Crime Prevention Orders against the Dean brothers.

The five-year orders, if granted, will limit how many bank accounts, vehicles and mobile ‘phones they can own.

They will be the first such orders applied for by Thames Valley Police.

Supt Chris Sharp, Oxford local police area commander, said: “Oxford is a safer place as a result of the dedicated work of the investigative team in this case and the support of the community in tackling the threats posed by organised crime groups, who use intimidation and fear in an attempt to operate unhindered by the law.”

He said police would continue working with the local community to tackle illegal drugs.