SIX men caught dealing £130,000 of heroin should have been hanged, not jailed.
That was the opinion of borough councillor Henny Moore – and other residents who agreed with him – after they heard about the police operation which led to the men’s arrest and jailing.
Detective Chief Superintendent Phil Thompson, head of Cheshire police’s serious crimes unit, outlined how they caught the gang at Ellesmere Port’s “Have Your Say” meeting.
He explained: “Dealers like these destroy and even take lives with their drugs.
“Their activities came to our knowledge because the people of this town told us.
“We used a range of undercover and surveillance techniques to catch them. This included airwave and microwave technology.
“Operation Opinion ended with the arrest of five men from Ellesmere Port and one from Manchester.”
He said the men’s illegal activities centred on the Christleton Drive area of Ellesmere Port and a number of rural locations, such as woods and ditches, where they would hide, and even bury, up to £80,000 of heroin at a time.
In total, the drugs were worth £130,000 but their street value would have been much greater. They were destined for the streets of Ellesmere Port.
Police also recovered from them £90,000 cash, property and vehicles.
DCS Thompson said: “We were determined to root out these individuals to get them the sentences they deserved.
“It was a successful prosecution and they got between two-and-a-half years and seven-and-a-half years for involvement in the supply of heroin.”
Cllr Moore (Ind, Stanlow & Wolverham) asked him: “Are you satisfied with these sentences?
“These men will be out in a few years. They should hang them.”
DCS Thompson did not respond to that remark.
Borough Cllr Sue Kettle (Con, Sutton Green & Manor) asked if jailing these men had created a vacancy for other drug dealers.
DCS Thompson replied they checked to see if voids in the drugs supply chain were being filled.
Police work with the council and NHS to get drug addicts into treatment, as cutting down on them helped tackle the suppliers.
Borough Cllr Peter Shephard (Lab, Rivacre) congratulated officers on this case, saying: “The police have saved many people a lot of heartache in the future”.