Eleven people have been sentenced to a total of over 38 years in prison following an operation targeting a Wirral organised crime group linked to large-scale drug supply.
During the investigation, two drug supply lines or ‘grafts’ were identified, and the following people have now been convicted at Liverpool Crown Court, all for Conspiracy to Supply Class A, following warrants carried out in August this year.
The final two men were sentenced today, Monday 12 December.
Stephen Hamill, 36, of Tranmere was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison
James Duffy, 43, of Tranmere was sentenced to two years and three months in prison
Shaun Murphy, 33, of no fixed abode was sentenced to eight years in prison
Bernadette Cullen, 58, of Birkenhead was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison
Kurt Hauenstein, 48, of Birkenhead was sentenced to three years in prison
Catherine O’Connor, 58, of Seacombe was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, and 150 unpaid work
Michelle Johnson, 45, of Claughton was sentenced to 28 months
Terence Griffiths, 36, of no fixed abode was sentenced to three years in prison
Jack Deponio, 26, of no fixed abode was sentenced to three years in prison
The following people appeared at Liverpool Crown Court in October after pleading guilty:
Carl Mello, 35, of Liverpool was sentenced to four and a half years in prison
Adrian Reed, 55, of Mynydd Isa was sentenced to three years in prison
Speaking following the final sentencing, Detective Inspector Emma Kerrigan said, “The sentencings over the past couple of months are the culmination of a long and complex investigation into an organised crime group responsible for spreading misery across Birkenhead. It will be a relief for all of those harmed by their criminality to see such a positive result at court.
“We evidenced a conspiracy between September 2021 and August 2022 in which two active drug supply lines were identified and then dismantled. The harm that this and other such groups cause is wide ranging, from drug users, fear in the wider community, and the associated threats and violence that such activity invariably attracts.
Community Policing Inspector Peter Rexwinkel said, “We understand and listen to the concerns that people in Birkenhead have had regarding the activities of this OCG. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to engage with residents, businesses and our partners to ensure that the community emerges stronger and a hostile place for any would-be criminals to operate.
“Information from those communities most affected can be absolutely vital in such major investigations, so help us to keep removing the harm from the streets. If you suspect drugs are being stored or supplied where you are, contact us via @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and we will do the rest.”