Five men have been sentenced for their part in a drugs operation following a covert police investigation in Barnsley.
The gang, made up of two men from Royston, Andrew Evans of Park View and Richard Hatfield of Midland Road, Patrick Sweeney of Wood Lane, Carlton, Jamie Goose of Acre Road, Cudworth and Paul Mountain of Moorlands Crescent, Staincross, were observed for a number of months as part of the investigation and were found to have been dealing class A drugs to people across Barnsley.
The culmination of the investigation, dubbed Operation Bagshot, resulted in the men being jailed for a combined total of 43-years and six months for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, following a 31-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
From June – October 2014, officers from Barnsley’s Organised Crime Team watched the men closely, as they worked together to buy and sell drugs across Barnsley, as Detective Constable Steve Caton, from Barnsley’s Performance Crime Team, explains: “During our observations, specialist officers were able to witness the men taking part in various exchanges and deals.
“They were also observed visiting rural areas of Barnsley where police recovered controlled drugs. They clearly thought they were running a sophisticated operation, but unbeknown to them we were tracking their every movement.
“After gathering an overwhelming amount of evidence, we able to put forward the gang had sold over a kilo of drugs in just five months, netting them a potential profit from criminal gains of around £50,000, which will now be subject to a separate investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).”
A quantity of cash was also seized from an address in Royston.
The five were charged in May 2015, and all entered not guilty pleas. A jury found them guilty of all of the offences on Friday 21 July 2017, and all five were jailed immediately following their conviction.
Evans, 47 was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and was jailed for 12-years.
Sweeney, 53, and Hatfield, 41, were both convicted of two counts of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and jailed for 10-years each.
Mountain, 38, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and was sentenced to six-years while Goose, 27, was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and sentenced to five years and six months.
DC Caton continued: “The 43-years and six months behind bars is a result of an extremely detailed and lengthy investigation, in which officers have worked tirelessly, to ensure these men were arrested and prosecuted for their offending.
“Organised crime and drug dealing brings misery to our local communities and I hope that this demonstrates that our officers are committed to disrupting this kind of criminal activity and cutting off their supply to ensure they’re put behind bars.
“If you’re involved in any kind of organised crime, we will pursue you, we will arrest you and you could face a lengthy stint behind bars.”
- Collage shows clockwise from top left- Patrick Sweeney, Richard Hatfield, Jamie Goose, Paul Mountain. Andrew Evans (Centre).