£1.6m Derbyshire drugs gang faces jail

Pictured is some of the cash seized by Derbyshire Constabulary during the Operation Chromium drugs investigation.
Pictured is some of the cash seized by Derbyshire Constabulary during the Operation Chromium drugs investigation.
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Fourteen men including seven from north Derbyshire and the Peak District have been convicted of drug-related offences linking them to a £1.6 million drugs operation.

A Leicester Crown Court trial heard last week how seven of the accused were found guilty of offences including possessing or supplying drugs such as amphetamines, diazepam and cannabis and converting criminal property.

And a further seven pleaded guilty to a similar range of offences.

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said: “The offences can be grouped together as handling stolen goods, possessing controlled drugs with intent to supply, conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and conspiracy to conceal or convert criminal property.”

Those found guilty by a jury included Neil Ogden, 44, of Oker Avenue, Darley Dale, Kevin Brough, 55, of Hallcroft, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Glen Martin, 47, of Highfield Lane, Chesterfield, Dean Wilson, 28, of Eccles Close, Hope Valley.

Others found guilty included David Atkinson, 47, of The Croft, Beckingham, Doncaster, Steven Crossland, 38, of Albion Road, New Mills, and Gavin Logan, 28, of Hayton Avenue, South Shields.

Those who pleaded guilty included Dean Hollis, 52, of Manor Road, Chesterfield, Elliot Hopewell, 31, of Spinkhill Road, Renishaw, Nicholas Seville, 33, of Edge View, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Leigh Price, 33, of Derby Road, Draycott, Steven Armitt, 34, of Cliff Road, Buxton, and Aaron Hamilton, 19, of Dakin Avenue, Buxton, and Andrew Bradley, 36, of Ferneydale Avenue, Buxton.

During Derbyshire Constabulary’s Operation Chromium officers seized £50,000 in cash and drugs worth over £30,000 and a spreadsheet was recovered from Neil Ogden relating to alleged drugs and contraband transactions between Neil Ogden and others of over £1m.

The police claimed many of the accused were linked to the spreadsheet.

Officers carried out arrests and raids at addresses and recovered exhibits believed to be related to drugs. All the accused were charged between May 7 and May 23, last year.

Police seized exhibits from Neil Ogden’s home and officers raided Steven Crossland’s address and he admitted being caught ripping up a plastic bag of heroin but claimed he was a user and not a dealer.

Officers searched a shed at Hognaston, near Carsington, linked to Kevin Brough and found a tub of cannabis resin. Police seized relevant items from a barn in Kirk Ireton also linked to Brough.

The court heard how Neil Ogden bought caffeine and slimming products allegedly used for mixing drugs.

A Belmont Park apartment, in Chesterfield, was also leased to Neil Ogden after he was introduced to the owner by Glen Martin and this was searched and police found cash and a currency counter which was thought to be pertinent to drug offences.

Police attended Glen Martin’s address where they seized a phone and Martin was arrested. It was claimed insurance payments by Neil Ogden for numerous vehicles were evidence of efforts to conceal assets.

The prosecution claimed that Neil Ogden’s lease payments in cash for an apartment at Belmont Park were also evidence of concealing assets.

A drugs expert examined seized mobile phones and interpreted text messages as codes for types of drugs and quantities and types of deals.

Neil Ogden was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property valued at £1,651,421. He was also found guilty of nine other counts of conspiracy to convert criminal property between the values of £121,850 and £400. He was also found guilty of possessing diazepam with intent to supply and conspiracy to supply amphetamine. Neil Ogden was found not guilty of possessing cannabis with intent to supply cannabis and not guilty of three other counts of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Kevin Brough was found guilty of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, handling a stolen Wacker plate and conspiracy to supply cannabis.

Glen Martin and Dean Wilson were found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Andrew Bradley pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing amphetamine, and possession of cannabis and was found not guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

David Atkinson was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis and to possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

Steven Crossland was found guilty of possessing heroin with intent to supply and not guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Gavin Logan was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Another accused Stephen Cooper, 52, of Bridge Court, Beeston, Nottingham, was found not guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Dean Hollis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property.

Elliot Hopewell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property valued at £121,850, and guilty to possessing amphetamine with intent to supply.

Nicholas Seville pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and conspiracy to supply amphetamine.

Leigh Price pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and guilty to supplying Subutex.

Steven Armitt and Aaron Hamilton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on other charges of conspiracy to convert criminal property to the value of £13,600 against Neil Ogden and Kevin Brough and charges of conspiracy to convert criminal property to the value of £87,500 against Neil Ogden and David Atkinson. A retrial on these charges is expected.

The jury was also unable to reach a verdict on a charge of conspiracy to supply amphetamine against Neil Ogden and Stephen Ogden, 66, of Oker Avenue, Darley Dale, and a retrial is expected regarding this matter.

Neil Ogden, Elliott Hopewell, Steven Crossland, Glen Martin, Dean Wilson, David Atkinson, and Kevin Brough have been remanded in custody. All guilty defendants, except those subject to retrial matters including Neil Ogden, David Atkinson and Kevin Brough, will be sentenced on November 21.

Following the verdicts, Superintendant Graham McLaughlin, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “It’s been worth the two years’ investigation because these offenders will face a significant time in prison.

“This case is also a good opportunity for us to get more intelligence so anyone with information about drug dealing around Chesterfield and Buxton should contact us.”

Anyone with information can call Derbyshire Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.