McCash drugs gang jailed for total of 46 years after dealing hard drugs in Southampton

 

THEY called themselves “The Government” because they thought they were untouchable.

A notorious drugs gang controlled the supply of potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs around the Thornhill estate in Southampton.

Using the threat of violence the major drugs enterprise involving the eight men, who played various roles in ensuring the supply of crack cocaine and heroin, maintained a stronghold over the estate for at least 18 months.

But today that rule is over and they are facing years behind bars after one of Hampshire Constabulary’s longest and most difficult undercover operations which seized £60,000 worth of drugs and £45,000 in cash.

Yesterday they were jailed for a total of 46 years.

Detective Sergeant Jason Attwell, senior investigating officer, told the Daily Echo: “It is said the gang had nicknamed themselves ‘The Government’ because effectively they controlled the events that happened on the Thornhill Estate. They had control of who did what and when.

“The sentencing of the McCash family and their associates represents a significant disruption and dismantling of the organised crime group and in this case we are happy we can say we have overthrown ‘The Government’.

Southampton Crown Court heard how this group was particularly difficult to bring down because four of the eight were members of the McCash family.

Darren McCash,, 32, who lived in an exclusive apartment in Port Solent and drove a £19,000 Mercedes, was in charge of what Judge Peter Henry described as a “professional and highly organised” drugs business.

As Judge Henry told the court, he was the leader who organised and directed the buying and selling of drugs on a commercial scale.

He had recruited younger his cousins – who the judge described as his lieutenants who stored and packaged the drugs ready for their onward sale – Ben McCash, 21, of Neva Road, Bradley McCash, 23, of Kitford Court, Botley and Robbie McCash, 18, also of Kitford Court.

They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Darren also pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering relating to the cash used to buy his Mercedes and the £1,305 in cash found on him when he was arrested.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: “It was clear that close members of the family had been recruited and directed by him on that supply chain.”

Managing the commercial supply of the drugs between Southampton and London was Babak Rajabzadeh, 30, of Burgess Road and Abrar Ali, 27,of Derby Road. They were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.

The court heard how Rajabzadeh got involved with the conspiracy in April 2014 and was used by Darren McCash to source crack cocaine from his sources in London.

He employed the help of Ali, who was sentenced on the basis of his involvement on one day of the operation – which saw him go to London, in convoy with Rajabzadeh, for what ended up being an aborted drugs run.

But on his way back to Southampton, he was stopped on the M3 by officers who found £37,500 cash in his boot – which the Judge accepted was money to be used to buy cocaine.

While Michael Tudor, 28, of Kingsdown Way and David Brown, 28, of Lime Street, were the “middle men” between Darren McCash and Rajabzadeh.

They were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine in relation to the delivery of one package of class A drugs.

Central to the drugs operation, the court heard, was one address in Thornhill – the home of Darren McCash’s mum Julie in Burgoyne Road.

As a result of this major operation, Southampton City Council has since evicted her from her home.

Undercover officers watched for hours as Darren McCash would head to his mother’s home, get changed into wellies and then head out into the woodland behind her house carrying items.

It was under cover of the trees that police believe he stored drugs and carried out most of his exchanges.

However one exchange was caught on camera, when a carrier bag was passed between two passing cars, one driven by Darren, nicknamed Mac10 – the name of a semi-automatic rifle. – and Rajabzadeh.

The court also heard how the gang would typically use the method of “cuckooing” to take over addresses of vulnerable drug users, including those suffering from mental illness, and use them as one of their many bases for their drug supply.

Officers observed the McCash’s meeting various people at several addresses and when those homes were raided, Class A drugs and cash were found.

Darren McCash was also seen to frequently visit a flat in Dumbleton Towers, where police later found a safe, which the crown say was used to store his drugs money.

The arrogance of the gang was such that even when Darren’s brother Damien was convicted of drugs charges last year relating to £30,000 worth of cannabis, and jailed, instead of bringing a halt to the operation and keeping their heads down, they continued as normal.

The charges came following the culmination of the extensive investigation by theOperation Fortress team which ended with a number of raids on June 20, last year.

Officers found a total of £12,000 worth of drugs at Burgoyne Road, despite Darren trying to flush it down the toilet and £1,305 in cash.

At the home of his cousins officers found more money and Class A drugs.

Officers believe this is just a fraction of the amount of drugs passed through the estate between 2013 and 2014 – with best estimates calculating up to £200,000 worth of drugs passing through the gang during that period.

As Judge Henry passed his sentences, family in the public gallery began crying and at one point the hearing had to be halted as some of the defendants threatened violence as the reality of how long they were going to be spending in jail hit home.

Dad-of-one Darren McCash was sentenced to nine years in prison, getting credit for his guilty plea.

His cousins Ben and Bradley were given six years each.

Their younger brother Robbie, who was just 17 as the time of the conspiracy and of previous good character, was sentenced on his involvement wrapping up some drugs on just one day and was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order. The judge said that he played a much lesser role.

Rajabzadeh, the judge said was a “manipulator” whose role it was to “negotiate, find and deal with wholesale suppliers in London and organise them to be brought down to Southampton. He received 12 years in prison to which he shouted at the judge “are you crazy”.

Ali, the judge said played a significant role on one day of the conspiracy – the aborted drug deal in London – and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

While Tudor and Brown, whose partner is pregnant, were handed three years each in prison. The judge said they were “persuaded” to get involved and was “very conscious” they were involved for just one day and played much lesser roles.

After the sentencing DS Attwell added: “This organised crime group have been responsible for causing misery to members of the Thornhill community by supplying crack cocaine and heroin in commercial quantities – the impact of this drug supply by way of acquisitive crime, anti social behaviour and risk to public health resulted in significant community impact.

“They exploited and targeted vulnerable people and used their vulnerability to line their pockets and support their cash rich criminal lifestyle.

“It is a massive conviction because people would talk about Darren McCash as being untouchable and we have proved that he isn’t.

“The success of the operation is testament to the dedication of my team and in particular I would like to highlight the excellent work of the officer in the case, DC Adam Knight and the deputy senior investigating officer DS Matt Taylor.”

Speaking about the unusual step to evict McCash’s mother from her home, he added: “It was an unusual course of events to take but we had significant evidence that she was the matriarch of the family which made their drug dealing possible.

“It was a necessary course to take to show that when we dismantle drug networks, not only do we go for the main people, but also the people willing to support it.”

 

THEY called themselves “The Government” because they thought they were untouchable.

A notorious drugs gang controlled the supply of potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs around the Thornhill estate in Southampton.

Using the threat of violence the major drugs enterprise involving the eight men, who played various roles in ensuring the supply of crack cocaine and heroin, maintained a stronghold over the estate for at least 18 months.

But today that rule is over and they are facing years behind bars after one of Hampshire Constabulary’s longest and most difficult undercover operations which seized £60,000 worth of drugs and £45,000 in cash.

Yesterday they were jailed for a total of 46 years.

Detective Sergeant Jason Attwell, senior investigating officer, told the Daily Echo: “It is said the gang had nicknamed themselves ‘The Government’ because effectively they controlled the events that happened on the Thornhill Estate. They had control of who did what and when.

“The sentencing of the McCash family and their associates represents a significant disruption and dismantling of the organised crime group and in this case we are happy we can say we have overthrown ‘The Government’.

Southampton Crown Court heard how this group was particularly difficult to bring down because four of the eight were members of the McCash family.

Darren McCash,, 32, who lived in an exclusive apartment in Port Solent and drove a £19,000 Mercedes, was in charge of what Judge Peter Henry described as a “professional and highly organised” drugs business.

As Judge Henry told the court, he was the leader who organised and directed the buying and selling of drugs on a commercial scale.

He had recruited younger his cousins – who the judge described as his lieutenants who stored and packaged the drugs ready for their onward sale – Ben McCash, 21, of Neva Road, Bradley McCash, 23, of Kitford Court, Botley and Robbie McCash, 18, also of Kitford Court.

They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Darren also pleaded guilty to two counts of money laundering relating to the cash used to buy his Mercedes and the £1,305 in cash found on him when he was arrested.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: “It was clear that close members of the family had been recruited and directed by him on that supply chain.”

Managing the commercial supply of the drugs between Southampton and London was Babak Rajabzadeh, 30, of Burgess Road and Abrar Ali, 27,of Derby Road. They were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.

The court heard how Rajabzadeh got involved with the conspiracy in April 2014 and was used by Darren McCash to source crack cocaine from his sources in London.

He employed the help of Ali, who was sentenced on the basis of his involvement on one day of the operation – which saw him go to London, in convoy with Rajabzadeh, for what ended up being an aborted drugs run.

But on his way back to Southampton, he was stopped on the M3 by officers who found £37,500 cash in his boot – which the Judge accepted was money to be used to buy cocaine.

While Michael Tudor, 28, of Kingsdown Way and David Brown, 28, of Lime Street, were the “middle men” between Darren McCash and Rajabzadeh.

They were both found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine in relation to the delivery of one package of class A drugs.

Central to the drugs operation, the court heard, was one address in Thornhill – the home of Darren McCash’s mum Julie in Burgoyne Road.

As a result of this major operation, Southampton City Council has since evicted her from her home.

Undercover officers watched for hours as Darren McCash would head to his mother’s home, get changed into wellies and then head out into the woodland behind her house carrying items.

It was under cover of the trees that police believe he stored drugs and carried out most of his exchanges.

However one exchange was caught on camera, when a carrier bag was passed between two passing cars, one driven by Darren, nicknamed Mac10 – the name of a semi-automatic rifle. – and Rajabzadeh.

The court also heard how the gang would typically use the method of “cuckooing” to take over addresses of vulnerable drug users, including those suffering from mental illness, and use them as one of their many bases for their drug supply.

Officers observed the McCash’s meeting various people at several addresses and when those homes were raided, Class A drugs and cash were found.

Darren McCash was also seen to frequently visit a flat in Dumbleton Towers, where police later found a safe, which the crown say was used to store his drugs money.

The arrogance of the gang was such that even when Darren’s brother Damien was convicted of drugs charges last year relating to £30,000 worth of cannabis, and jailed, instead of bringing a halt to the operation and keeping their heads down, they continued as normal.

The charges came following the culmination of the extensive investigation by theOperation Fortress team which ended with a number of raids on June 20, last year.

Officers found a total of £12,000 worth of drugs at Burgoyne Road, despite Darren trying to flush it down the toilet and £1,305 in cash.

At the home of his cousins officers found more money and Class A drugs.

Officers believe this is just a fraction of the amount of drugs passed through the estate between 2013 and 2014 – with best estimates calculating up to £200,000 worth of drugs passing through the gang during that period.

As Judge Henry passed his sentences, family in the public gallery began crying and at one point the hearing had to be halted as some of the defendants threatened violence as the reality of how long they were going to be spending in jail hit home.

Dad-of-one Darren McCash was sentenced to nine years in prison, getting credit for his guilty plea.

His cousins Ben and Bradley were given six years each.

Their younger brother Robbie, who was just 17 as the time of the conspiracy and of previous good character, was sentenced on his involvement wrapping up some drugs on just one day and was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order. The judge said that he played a much lesser role.

Rajabzadeh, the judge said was a “manipulator” whose role it was to “negotiate, find and deal with wholesale suppliers in London and organise them to be brought down to Southampton. He received 12 years in prison to which he shouted at the judge “are you crazy”.

Ali, the judge said played a significant role on one day of the conspiracy – the aborted drug deal in London – and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

While Tudor and Brown, whose partner is pregnant, were handed three years each in prison. The judge said they were “persuaded” to get involved and was “very conscious” they were involved for just one day and played much lesser roles.

After the sentencing DS Attwell added: “This organised crime group have been responsible for causing misery to members of the Thornhill community by supplying crack cocaine and heroin in commercial quantities – the impact of this drug supply by way of acquisitive crime, anti social behaviour and risk to public health resulted in significant community impact.

“They exploited and targeted vulnerable people and used their vulnerability to line their pockets and support their cash rich criminal lifestyle.

“It is a massive conviction because people would talk about Darren McCash as being untouchable and we have proved that he isn’t.

“The success of the operation is testament to the dedication of my team and in particular I would like to highlight the excellent work of the officer in the case, DC Adam Knight and the deputy senior investigating officer DS Matt Taylor.”

Speaking about the unusual step to evict McCash’s mother from her home, he added: “It was an unusual course of events to take but we had significant evidence that she was the matriarch of the family which made their drug dealing possible.

“It was a necessary course to take to show that when we dismantle drug networks, not only do we go for the main people, but also the people willing to support it.”

This case is about a year old but I’ve posted it because the way the police tackle this kind of thing outside of London is exceptional & the exceptionality is that noticeable.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s