Five members of a Hertfordshire drug gang, three of whom are from St Albans, have been jailed for a total of 52 years.
The men, who had admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, were caught after their EncroChat network, a secure messaging system used by criminals, was cracked.
Those sentenced by Judge Richard Foster at St Albans crown court on Friday were:
- Scot Wells (pictured), 43, of Radlett Road, Frogmore, St Albans, who was jailed for 15 years.
- Adam Mayling, 41, of Hempstead Court, Watford, received 14 years.
- Jason Walton-Whitelock, 31, of Loch Crescent, Edgware, was sentenced to eight years.
- Wayne Everitt, 36, of Grovelands Park Street, St Albans, received nine and a half years.
- Mark Gallagher, 38, of Ashbourne Court, St Albans, was sentenced to five and a half years.
The five were among 12 people arrested following an operation targeting organised crime groups throughout in October 2020.
Addresses in Watford, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers and London were raided.
Drugs and thousands of pounds worth of cash were seized.
Prosecutor Simon Wilshire said the police investigated the conspiracy between August 1, 2019, and October 1, 2020.
Other defendants included one who had stored drugs at Haberdashers’ School in Elstree. He was sentenced at earlier hearings.
Mr Wilshire said Wells, who got the longest sentence, had played a leading role in the gang’s activities, despite keeping himself at a distance from any physical role in the dealings.
According to the prosecutor, he was closely assisted by Mayling, but always had the final say on dealings.
Walton-Whitlock was said to have played a significant role, and at one point sent a message in which he complained about the quality of the cocaine he had received.
Everitt stored and collected drugs and money for Wells and Mayling, even storing some at his own grandmother’s house. He recruited his friend, Gallagher, who acted as a courier.