Head of South Yorkshire drug gang loses bid for freedom

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The ringleader of a South Yorkshire drugs gang and a sidekick have failed in their bid to overturn their convictions.

Marcus Gad Binghi Thompson was at the head of the group, which peddled class A drugs and cannabis and armed themselves with guns.

Marcus Thompson

Marcus Thompson

He was jailed for 19 years at Sheffield Crown Court in December 2013 after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to possess a firearm.

The 36-year-old, of Bowfield Park, Firth Park, Sheffield, challenged his convictions at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, where he also argued his jail term was too long.

Accomplice Thomas Carlin, 34, of St John’s Road, Rotherham, also attempted to overturn his conviction after he was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of the conspiracies to supply heroin and to possess firearms.

The pair failed in their bid for freedom.

The gang’s activities came to light during an eight-month undercover investigation by South Yorkshire Police’s serious and organised crime unit.

While under police surveillance, Thompson was seen visiting addresses in Sheffield and Rotherham from which officers later recovered drugs, a gun and ammunition.

During the search of a house in Lord Street, Rotherham, police found a cannabis farm with a street value of £250,000 if all the plants had reached maturity.

Other searches at properties in Whiston and Sheffield uncovered more drugs and paraphernalia associated with large-scale dealing.

Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Judge John Milford QC, said: “We see nothing wrong with the overall sentences passed.

“They could not be described as excessive for offending on this grand scale.”

Thompson and Carlin were among 10 men jailed for a total of 54 years for the drug plot.

Police at the time said the gang members were ‘violent individuals’.

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