Lockdown baron who ran special £ 10 drug gang jailed – along with some of his buddies
A gang leader who was caught using a hotline to move cocaine and heroin between Manchester and locked out North Yorkshire has been jailed – along with several of his associates.
The drug trade has seen ‘special’ £ 10 offers advertised and has been investigated by police for a year and a half.
The court heard that some drug couriers travel to York every day to drop off deliveries.
For more crimes in North Yorkshire and the County at large, click here.
Jack Smedley, 24, and seven others were tried in court today (Thursday) and learned of their fate.
As reported by Manchester Evening News, the inter-Pennine plot was dismantled by cops assigned to the Greater Manchester Police’s dedicated operation, Homestead.
Officers from North Yorkshire Police and the Humber Regional Organized Crime Unit were also involved.
The investigation was first launched in May 2020 and detectives discovered that the group referred to its line of drugs as the “Junior Line”.
Most of their deals were made between April and June last year, with police believing “vulnerable people” – including children – were being used to store drugs at “cuckoo” properties in York.
Cops stormed 10 properties in Manchester, Oldham, Tameside and York in an attack in October.
Charges were then brought against those involved.
Manchester Evening News said seven other people appeared on the quay alongside Smedley.
Heard in Minshull Street Crown Court, Smedley controlled the “Junior Line”, which was registered under a false name, and sent mass texts announcing the sale of heroin and cocaine under a contract of £ 10.
Others were employed to act as couriers and collectors.
The pursuit, Deborah Smithies, said: “The line was primarily used by Jack Smedley and then handed over to Daniel Halford at a later stage.
“Three days after the line was activated and operational, she sent a mass text message indicating that the drug was for sale.”
Smedley, from Moston, employed a number of people with drugs transporting to York and others collecting the money to be brought back to Manchester.
One of the couriers, Georgia Leigh, 23, made several trips to and from York, sometimes by train and sometimes driven by someone else.
She would stay in York for a short time – sometimes as little as 20 minutes – before returning to Oldham.
Leigh, from Oldham, traveled to York, sometimes twice a day, to drop off deliveries on several occasions
She then admitted to cops that she traveled daily for the two month period.
Ms Smithies added: “Simon Potter was based in York and the apartment he shared served as the base for which drugs were sold to customers.”
“Daniel Halford was based in Manchester, he traveled to York to help with the sales operations there.
“Nicole Crighton has traveled with Georgia Leigh four times from Greater Manchester to York and back.
Simon Davies was involved in only one occasion on May 18. He drove two teenagers from Oldham to York, both of whom were recruited by Smedley.
“Then Marc and Michelle Simpson were involved in two occasions where they drove two teenagers from York to Oldham and drove Halford from York to Oldham.”
Police discovered numerous telephone communications between the “Junior Line” run by Smedley, Leigh and Potter.
Two teenagers – both under the age of 18 – were also recruited by Smedley to carry drugs.
One of them sent a message to Smedley: “How much do we each get, my brother?
A few minutes later, the “Junior Line” sent out a mass message that read, “Back on. “
The boys were driven by Davies, from Limeside, Oldham, to York in his Jaguar, and dropped off at Potter’s apartment in York.
A note – described as a “checklist” – with details of heroin and cocaine under the letters “W” and “B”, as well as a running total of stocks and species was recovered from the one of the teenager’s phones.
The teenagers were then brought back to Manchester by Marc and Michelle Simpson.
During the trip, one of the teenagers was pictured holding a wad of cash in the back of the car.
Smedley was arrested in October last year and, after his phone was seized and analyzed, officers recovered a list of debtors with names and values owed.
No drugs were seized following a thorough 18-month police investigation.
The extent of the operation is not known, but a police officer said the Junior Line sent 4,108 mass texts promoting the outfit.
Officers learned that a package the size of a golf ball had already been seen.
Mitigating for Smedley, Hugh Barton said: “Since the age of 16 he has been pressured by an organized crime group in connection with offenses committed in the counties.
“He maintains that there were others above him in the organization.”
Upon sentencing, Judge John Potter said: “It was well organized and planned with different people playing different roles who ensured that the drug supply could take place on the streets of York.
“Jack Smedley employed trusted people to carry out the business, including the transport of drugs to and from Manchester.”
The judge said Leigh played a “vital role” in the operation and that without her having mailed the drugs, the operation would not have been viable.
- Jack smedley , 24, of Heppleton Road, who has “many” previous drug trafficking convictions, will serve 13 years behind bars after receiving an additional four-and-a-half-year sentence to the eight-and-a-half-year sentence he has ordered to serve in April for the supply of Class A drugs to York. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs; and a separate offense aggravated the vehicle hold
- Daniel Halford , 36, from HMP Forest Bank, was sentenced to three years for conspiring to supply Class A drugs
- Simon potter , 49, of Leicester Way, York, who has 52 convictions for 159 offenses, was jailed for two years and 10 months after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs
- Marc Simpson , 55, of Wilberforce Avenue, York, who has 19 previous convictions, was sentenced to two years after admitting a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
- Georgia Leigh , 23, of Bowling Green Close, Oldham, was sentenced to four years and two months for conspiring to supply Class A drugs – including 10 months for transporting “List A” items to jail, know class A drugs, cell phones, cannabis and tobacco
- Nicole pencil , 22, of Wilson Way, Oldham, who has two previous convictions, was guilty of being involved in supplying Class A drugs and was given a two-year suspended sentence for two years; as well as 150 hours of unpaid work
- Simon davies , 48, of Higher House Close, Oldham, who had 25 convictions, received a two-year community ordinance; 150 hours of unpaid work; and 17 days of rehabilitation after admitting to participating in the activities of an organized criminal group
- Michelle simpson , 48, of Wilberforce Avenue, York, received a two-year community ordinance; nine months of rehabilitation days; and 20 days of unpaid work after admitting to participating in the activities of an organized criminal group
- Stephanie Barbe , 27, of Dumfries Avenue, Oldham – a civilian BPF employee in the administration department – pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug and was released on two-year parole in August. She has been on hold since September 2020 pending an upcoming malpractice hearing, GMP said.
To receive the latest email updates from North Yorkshire Live, Click here .