A sophisticated and elaborate drugs operation has been foiled in Salford, with 13 men sentenced for a total of 77 years.

Five kilograms of high-purity cocaine were found at an address in Salford, along with a suitcase filled with cash, says Greater Manchester Police.

Ringleader Robert Foxen, 30, of Rocky Lane, Eccles, who co-ordinated a network of drug dealers by using military-grade encrypted phones, was jailed for 10 years for conspiracty to supply class A drugs.

Robert Foxen has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his part in the operation.
Robert Foxen has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his part in the operation. in Salford.

Foxen’s right-hand man Alan McNally, 31, of Overdale, Swinton, who was in charge of the money made during the operations, received a total of six years and eight months.

The beginning of the end for the operation was the stopping of a car by police which contained 7kg of cocaine. The owner of the car, Anthony Hamnet, 33,  of Harold Street, Prestwich, was previously sentenced to seven years.

Months of large scale police operations followed with the aim of bringing down the group and removing the drugs operation from the streets of Greater Manchester.

Officers raided a safe house belonging to the group, finding 5kg of cocaine in a safe at the address. Later on £124,000, alongside a detailed tick list with how much cash he had counted for each deal, was found at the house of Alan McNally.

Dedicated organised crime officers tasked with hunting down the group were finally able to bring the operation to a halt in late September 2017.

In total 13 men have been sentenced for their parts in the operations. All the defendants pleaded guilty to a number of drugs offences at an earlier hearing and have today been sentenced to more than 77 years collectively in prison at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

Police Superintendent Howard Millington, of GMP’s Salford Borough, said: “This group clearly ran a sophisticated operation, but their illicit drugs enterprise was brought to a halt by officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Group, working together with our partners and local officers.

“These individuals thought they could outsmart the criminal justice system by use of an elaborate supply network enabled by encrypted communication, in order to swamp Greater Manchester with illegal and dangerous drugs.

“However, their control is now over. They will now spend a collective seventy-plus years behind bars to contemplate their actions.

“We hope this provides reassurance to our communities that GMP continues to tackle those criminals who are not in plain view but clearly causing serious distress to others.”

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