£275,000 drug gang behind bars

Graham Clarke
Graham Clarke

A father and daughter, who were part of a trans-Pennine drug gang which planned to pedal £275,000 worth of drugs onto Scarborough’s streets, are behind bars after a crack police unit unravelled their plot.

Graham and Rachel Clarke are among four criminals convicted following a near two year investigation by North Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, who recovered Class A drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine during raids.

Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan Bailey

The 53-year-old father, of Chapel Rise, Hunmanby, was jailed for four-and-half years after admitting to conspiring to supply ecstasy, while his 28-year-old daughter, of Cleveland Avenue, was sentenced in March for a year being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

The drug smuggling Hunmanby man was captured by police with £10,000 worth of ecstasy hidden in his toilet cistern.

And his daughter was jailed after leaving a breadcrumb trail of text messages on her mobile, which lead police to discovering the group planned on dealing almost 1,000 super strong ecstasy tablets.

Oldham’s Jonathan Bailey, 40, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply, while 35-year-old Rochdale taxi driver Sarfraz Hussain - who used his cab to ferry cash and pills across The Pennines - received a nine-month suspended jail for money laundering.

One of the detectives who put the gang behind bars for a total of 12 years said the “substantial” quantity of drugs could have caused serious harm to communities in Scarborough.

And Judge Stephen Ashurst aired fresh concerns about the “prolific” trafficking of drugs across The Pennines, following a spate of recent convictions.

At the York sentencing hearing on May 8, both Bailey and Graham Clarke appeared via video link for sentencing.

The court heard how Bailey was on licence at the time of his arrest, having been released in 2012 after being handed an eight year sentence for smuggling drugs into the country.

But the court heard how Bailey had been seen placing a parcel in Hussain’s taxi, which police followed across the Pennines.

After police swooped, they found 997 ecstasy tablets stashed in Clarke’s loo.

A further raid found at Bailey’s Oldham home. they found cannabis resin bars weighing a total of 118lbs - with a street value of over £231,000.

500 grams of cocaine worth £32,500 and 176 grams of amphetamine valued at £1,900 were also found at the home of Bailey, who also admitted three charges of possessing drugs - cannabis, cocaine and amphetamine - with intent to supply.

At the sentencing, Clarke was also ordered to hand over £2,853 under the proceeds of crime act, and Detective Inspector Mark Pearson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Organised Crime Unit, said the tough sentences reflected the “serious nature” of the crimes.

He added:”We are committed to dismantling criminal networks who are bringing drugs into North Yorkshire and putting them before the courts.”