A shooting was imminent as drugs turf war escalated, warns Halton detective (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Someone could have been shot in drugs turf war, warns Halton detective
SOMEONE would have been killed, warned the detective leading a major drugs gang investigation.
Speaking after four Merseyside men were jailed for almost 40 years, DI Simon Blackwell said a shooting was imminent a a violent turf war escalated.
He said: “I am convinced we would have had a body. If we hadn’t taken action that day and executed that search warrant, someone would have been killed.
“We are very fortunate we are not dealing with a Cheshire citizen lying dead somewhere.”
Brady Cole, aged 24, and Jamie Barnett, aged 23, were jailed for 12 years after admitting a string of drugs and firearms offences.
Dean Kenton, aged 29, and Lewis Gandy, who were also key members of the gang, were sentenced to six years after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs and possession of a Colt 45 pistol and ammunition.
A Colt 45 pistol found in their West Bank drugs den in Mersey Road was forensically linked to two earlier shootinkgs.
Only two days before they were arrested, the gang fired indiscriminately during the rush hour in North Road, Halewood.
The area was full of pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.
The gun had also been fired in The Uplands, Palacefields, Runcorn, on February 19, this year. Two bullets had hit an empty car and others had a fence and trees.
DI Blackwell said: “They used extreme violence, fear and intimidation. They wanted control of the Halton drugs market and didn’t have any concern for people’s safety.
“They thought they could move into this small quiet community of West Bank and set up their drugs den.
“But local residents knew there was something wrong. They assisted with the police investigation.
“We would like to thank them for their co-operation and vigilance.
“We spent thousands of hours meticulously gathering forensic evidence and intelligence to secure a conviction.
“We are very pleased with this sentence. It sents out a clear message that we will not tolerate drugs in Cheshire.”