North West Regional Organised Crime Unit
 

Operation Knot

A Merseyside Organised crime group that were supplying across the North West and into Scotland and South Wales

Twelve men and a woman have been sentenced to a total of 152 years for a multi-million pound drugs conspiracy at Liverpool Crown Court today (Wednesday, August 8).
 
The sentencing follows an eight-month operation by officers from Titan (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit) into the supply of Class A drugs from Merseyside to Scotland, South Wales, Lancashire and Cheshire.
 
In total, officers from Titan seized 9.25 kg of heroin, 8.25 kg of cocaine, 12 kg of amphetamine, 11,370 class C tablets (benzylpiperazine) with a collective wholesale value of £1million as well as  £37,000 cash.
 
The following were jailed today for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs:

John Cooke, aged 32, of Walmer Road, Birkdale
James Swarez, aged 44, of Queens Road, Crosby
John Wildman, aged 40, of Alans Way, Kirkby
Paul McDonald, aged 44, of Fernbank Road, Huyton
Brian Harrison, aged 50, of Harefield Green, Speke
David Law, aged 53, of Sheldon Road, West Derby
Jonathon Earley, aged 46, of Crompton Street, Kirkdale
David Jolly, aged 44, of Enfield Close, Chorley
James Beck, aged 47, of Ward Street, Lostock Hall, Preston
Jonathon Cromwell, aged 36, of Stanway Place, Ely, Cardiff
Edward McCreadie, aged 54, of Menteith Drive, Rutherglen, Glasgow
Roseanne McCreadie, aged 32, of Dukes Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow
Gordon Smith, aged 49, of Menzies Drive, Glasgow

The methods used to distribute the drugs showed a degree of sophistication. The usual routine for the distribution tended to be Cooke and Swarez would receive high purity drugs from suppliers, one of which was Paul McDonald and this would then be trafficked to Glasgow, Cardiff, Preston and Ellesmere Port via the couriers of the group. 
 
Forensic examination of the recovered drugs indicates that mixing of the drugs took place prior to distribution and while under the control of the OCG. Following the deliveries of drugs, cash would be collected and subsequently delivered to Cooke, Swarez or McDonald, who along with Harrison were at the top of the hierarchy.
 
On Friday, December 2, 2011, Cooke, Swarez, Wildman, McDonald and Harrison were arrested in a coordinated planned operation. Searches took place at their homes during which a number of mobile phones were recovered. The searches of the houses belonging to Cooke and McDonald showed obvious signs of significant wealth with both living an affluent lifestyle.
 
The five were all charged the following day with conspiracy to supply cocaine and diamorphine.
 
Law was arrested on September 1, 2011 in Crosby. The boot of his Volvo car was searched and three kgs of cocaine recovered. He pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply at Liverpool Crown Court on September 20, 2011 and for that offence was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in jail. He later also admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
 
Jolly was arrested on September 21, 2011 by uniformed Merseyside Police officers on the M62 towards Liverpool just before junction seven at Rainhill. His Mercedez van was searched by officers and two kgs of heroin, 11,370 tablets containing various class ‘C’ controlled drugs and £2500 cash were recovered. A baseball bat was also found inside the van. Jolly was arrested for possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply, money laundering and possession of an offensive weapon. He was charged on December 8, 2011 with the drugs conspiracy.
 
On December 6, 2011, a  warrant was executed a

Convicted

John Cooke

John Cooke

17 yrs

Brian Harrison

Brian Harrison

6 yrs 8 months

James Beck

James Beck

13 years

Jonathan Cromwell

Jonathan Cromwell

12 years

John Early

John Early

6 years

David Jolly

David Jolly

12 years

David Law

David Law

10 years 8 months

Edward McCreadie

Edward McCreadie

12 years 8 months

Rosanne McCreadie

Rosanne McCreadie

9 years

Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald

15 years

Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith

12 years

James Swarez

James Swarez

17 years

John Wildman

John Wildman

9 years 4 months

Scott Foster

Scott Foster

8 ½ years