A group of men will spend more than 100 years behind bars collectively for their role in one of the most sophisticated organised crime gangs South Yorkshire has ever witnessed, writes Molly Lynch.
Members of the gang responsible for turning Sheffield and surrounding areas into the centre of a drug trafficking operation with links to Mexico and Holland were dealt lengthy jail sentences at Sheffield Crown Court today.
Eight men - Stephen Dyson, 41, Paul Robinson, 35, Frazer Guest, 35, Antony Urban, 35, Richard Stead, 46, Tristan Clarke, 28, Joseph Fawcett, 27 and Brent Padgett - were the first of the group, which operated using nicknames from the Stanley Kubrick war film Full Metal Jacket, to be put in prison.
The court heard how each played a part in the importation and distribution of huge quantities of cocaine with a street value of £25million over at least 15 months in 2010 and 2011.
Sheffield became the centre of the gang’s activity and the city was dubbed ‘Saigon’.
Ecclesall Road, where they met regularly to discuss deals and receive deliveries of cocaine, became known as ‘the strip’ as the men attempted to cover their tracks.
Robinson, of Magnolia Close, Shafton, Barnsley earned the nickname ‘the Colonel’ as the leader of the UK part of the operation which turned over sums of £400,000-plus every month.
Bugging tactics, tracking of movements and undercover work were deployed in a lengthy investigation from South Yorkshire Police involving overseas authorities which brought the men to justice.
-See The Star tomorrow for a full report