BACK in April 2014, The Worcester News reported how a violent drug gang, overseeing a major crack cocaine and heroin conspiracy was jailed.

A drugs boss and members of his gang, including three from Worcester, were jailed for their part in dealing thousands of pounds of heroin and crack cocaine in the city.

Eleven defendants appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on February 6, 2014 where they were sentenced to a combined total of 53 years for their part in the conspiracy to supply drugs.

Their leader was 29-year old Craig Wright, described as the heart and soul of the conspiracy, who controlled the enterprise, worth £200,000, from his prison cell.

But he was assisted by three Worcester associates - drug dealer and user Nicholas Clarke, of Windsor Avenue, Worcester; Michael O’Dell, aged 40, previously of Teme Road, who allowed his property to be used for the supply of drugs; and drugs runner Tina Brophy, aged 40, of Carlisle Road.

Three properties in Worcester were also used to deal the drugs - 42a Teme Road, where Adrian Locke was murdered, 8 Windsor Avenue in Ronkswood and 86 Lowesmoor.

Mr Locke died in January 2013 at the hands of two drug dealers, after a fight

broke out outside 42a Teme Road. Micah Golding and Rikko Marks, both from Birmingham, have since been sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Category A prisoner Craig Wright, who appeared at the court via video-link from HMP Woodhill, was sentenced to eight years and eight months. Wright had a network of dealers beneath him, said judge Richard Bond in his summing up. Judge Bond said despite several arrests which took people out of the supply chain he continued to run the business from prison with money laundered through his partner, Chantelle MacDowell’s, bank account.

He even continued running the business when he was in solitary confinement, using code words. But the calls from the landline were monitored and recorded. Judge Bond described Wright, originally from Liverpool, as a career criminal who had been to prison on 11 different occasions, including for supplying heroin and cocaine in 2002 and a firearms offence in 2009. He was serving a fiveyear prison sentence for possessing a shotgun with ammunition while running his empire.

Wright was released on license in May 2011 and his drug dealing activity escalated, but in November 2011 he was returned to prison for intentionally ramming a police car in an attempt to escape arrest. It is the result of a year-long investigation by West Mercia Police into the organised crime group, who were based mainly in Worcester but had contacts across the country.

Tina Brophy was a heroin addict who became involved in delivering crack

cocaine and heroin to 42a Teme Road in Tolladine. She became directly involved in the operation after Wright fell out with gang member Robert Tallis and was described as Wright’s ‘eyes and ears’ in Worcester.

She was tasked with spying on the activity of other drug dealers in Worcester for the gang. She helped to secure bulk imports of drugs from Zamen in Birmingham.

Brophy pleaded not guilty to the charges. She even made up false evidence against Wright at her trial, but failed to win over the sympathy of the jury. O’Dell was the tenant of 42a Teme Road and enabled the gang to use

She even made up false evidence against Wright at her trial, but failed to win

over the sympathy of the jury. O’Dell was the tenant of 42a Teme Road and

enabled the gang to use the flat to sell drugs behind closed doors.

When two drug dealers left the area, he allowed other dealers to deal from

the property.

Nicholas Clarke lived at 8, Windsor Avenue, Ronkswood. A drug addict himself, he allowed the gang to sell from his home. But he stole some of the

stashed drugs, putting him in physical danger from the gang.

Realising he was out of his depth, it was Clarke who alerted police to the ang’s activity. Police recovered £4,000 of drugs from his address.