THE HEAD of an organised criminal gang (OCG) behind a significant drug supply chain in north-west England has this week been jailed for more than 14 years.
Michael Doyle, 37, from Salford, Greater Manchester was sentenced on Friday to 14 years and nine months for conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply cannabis and conspiracy to supply amphetamine.
He is the final member of a nine-man OCG to be jailed after the gang was targeted by the Serious Organised Crime Group at Greater Manchester Police.
"This complex investigation involved a large team of detectives and specialist staff who monitored the group and gathered sufficient intelligence to execute raids on the addresses we knew criminality was taking place and as a result we seized large volumes of drugs and cash," said Detective Sergeant David Moran.
Between June and December 2019, Doyle was identified as the head of the group and an investigation was launched.
GMP detectives kept the OCG under surveillance as they used encrypted mobile phones to communicate and arrange drugs drop-offs between 2019 and 2020.
Following months of work undertaken by a covert team of officers who kept the group under close surveillance, officers watched as they travelled around Greater Manchester and Lancashire, dropping off various packages of drugs and picking large amounts of cash.
Some of the encrypted phones were recovered by officers following a raid at the home of gang member Michael Mason on October 1, 2019 and showed a large amount of contact between group members.
By the end of November 2020, all nine men had been arrested and later charged following several raids, with drugs and cash located at various addresses around Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
More than £60,000 in cash, 27.5kg of cocaine and 50kg of amphetamine totalling £400,000 was seized as part of the large-scale investigation, along with machinery including a hydraulic press and paraphernalia used in the preparation of drugs.
Eight of the men were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court in September 2021, receiving custodial sentences ranging from three years and five months to eight years and 10 months.
Following Doyle's sentencing, the gang members have been jailed for a total of 66 years.
"All nine men were key figures across the North-West drug supply chain and we are thrilled that we have been able to sentence all nine men for their crimes and remove them from our communities," added DS Moran.
"I would like to thank all our officers and staff who have worked extremely hard since the birth of this operation and we couldn't be happier with the result, not only because it has brought justice but it has also removed these men from our streets in Greater Manchester and the North West."