Flat raid leads to lengthy prison term

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A MAN has been jailed for 18 years after a raid of his hideout in Newport Pagnell uncovered a handgun and class A drugs.

John Davies, of Price Street in Birkenhead, was jailed for 18 years at Oxford Crown Court on Friday, after officers with the Force’s Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and armed officers carried out a search warrant at a flat above a jewellers in the High Street on September 14, 2009.

Officers searched a loft area and found hidden a quantity of the class A drugs cocaine and the stimulant Flouroamphetamin (part of the amphetamine family), as well as fake ecstasy and a handgun with ammunition.

Davies, who was using the flat as a hide-out as he was wanted by Merseyside Police on suspicion of committing a serious assault in Birkenhead, was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply, possession of a handgun and possession of ammunition.

Davies, 56, was found guilty of all five charges following a trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Davies’ co-defendant Joseph Drake, aged 35, of Overchurch Road, Wirral, who played a pivotal role in the supply of drugs from Merseyside to the Milton Keynes area, was also sentenced on Friday (17/6), after admitting a charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs at a previous hearing. He was jailed for nine years.

Det Con Daron Jones, of the SOCU, said the drugs supply operation saw Davies use his criminal contacts in Merseyside to arrange for dealers in Milton Keynes to be supplied drugs by Drake in Merseyside. The drugs would then be taken to Milton Keynes for distribution and the money then laundered through Drakes’ business in Merseyside.

Det Con Jones said: “It has taken 20 months from his arrest for Davies to face trial and during this time he has sacked at least four solicitors.

“I am delighted with the outcome of this case, which proves that Thames Valley Police’s SOCU unit will do all it can to protect our communities from the harm of organised crime and bring to justice those that seek to make a living from distributing drugs within the Thames Valley, no matter where the offenders come from or where they chose to hide.”