Drugs gang raking in £2 million a month is jailed

Date published: 14 June 2024

Four men including two men from the Rochdale borough have been jailed for their part in a major drugs operation around Manchester.

Yesterday (Thursday 13 June) at Minshull Street Crown Court, the men were sentenced to over 36 years for a combination of offences including money laundering, supplying a firearm and conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Paul Taylor, 46, from Rochdale is now imprisoned for five years eight months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering.

Thomas Bradley, 33, from Middleton was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering.

Nathan Lobley, 38, from Manchester received a sentence of 14 years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and for supplying a firearm and ammunition.

Craig Ganson, 43, from Chadderton was jailed for seven years 10 months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The court heard how this case centred on the importation and supply of multiple kilos of class A drugs – identified as cocaine and heroin – and money laundering being carried out by this Manchester-based organised crime group.

Evidence was initially gathered from encrypted mobile phone conversations between the members of the gang, who were all identified by their handles.

Lobley – who had the handle of ‘carrottoxic’ - had taken possession of at least 19 kilos of cocaine, which had a street value of between £684,000 and £798,000 and supplied it to third parties.

Police also discovered from conversations he was having with another encrypted handle that he had a firearm which he arranged to pass on to a third party. He initially pleaded not guilty to this offence, but was later found guilty following trial.

Bradley – ‘lovelyseal’ - was recognised as someone who was collecting cash from 20 other encrypted handles. He was collecting on an almost daily basis and had collected approximately £2 million a month. Between 16 March 2020 and 31 May 2020, he had collected £5.8 million.

Following a strike day by GMP on 22 March 2022, Bradley went on the run but was arrested returning to the UK via Holyhead on 3 December 2022. His encrypted device was linked to all key nominals in the conspiracy and to all identified money laundering events.

Ganson –‘paperboar’ – was the wholesale regional supplier of cocaine and heroin, who, between 2 April 2020 and 10 June 2020, purchased at least 11kg of cocaine and 2kg of heroin – valued at over £400,000 - from his suppliers.

Taylor –‘augeroooo’ – purchased a kilo of cocaine on 21 April 2020 for £37,000 and passed £80,390 to Bradley during the conspiracy period.

DC David Grimshaw within the GMP Serious Organised Crime Group task force, said: “We are pleased with the result, which has seen these men taken off the streets for a considerable period of time.

“Our investigation was a complex one and I would like to thank everyone who played a role. Not only have we taken four drug dealers off the streets of Manchester, we have also disrupted a supplier of firearms.

“Manchester communities should not have to live among drug dealers, and we are committed to ensuring that we identify, locate and remove these offenders. Organised crime can have an unprecedented effect on these communities, and it is vital that our work in this area continues.

“These men thought they were hiding behind an encrypted communication system that would mean identifying them would be difficult, but it wasn’t. They openly communicated through this system, which has led to them going straight to prison.

“We would urge anyone who has any information regarding drug dealing or other organised crimes taking place in their communities to come forward so we can get dangerous individuals off the street.”

Information can be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, via the Live Chat function on our website www.gmp.police.uk or by dialling 101. Ring 999 in an emergency.

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing news@rochdaleonline.co.uk
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email news@rochdaleonline.co.uk or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online