Three men have been jailed for a total of nearly 30 years after a street deal in Rushden exposed an organised Class A supply chain.
In November 2014 Steven Ellis, 44, Shaun Davis, 43, and Jack Gentle, 25, were arrested after a quantity of cocaine was seized by police in a Rushden street.
Further inquiries by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) revealed two further transactions between the group over a four-day period totalling up to half a kilogram of cocaine, worth £14,640.
Even more significantly, what also emerged was Ellis’ involvement in a supply chain dating back to 2012 involving more than 60kg of cocaine supply with other sub-dealers.
At street level purity the cocaine would have been worth more than £3m.
During the investigation, officers attempted to stop Gentle while he drove his Audi along John Street, Rushden.
But Gentle fled from the car and was stopped at a nearby toilet block where he was attempting to dispose of the car keys down the toilet. A search of his car revealed 122.51g of cocaine.
A subsequent search of his house revealed scales and a further 5.59g of cocaine.
Also seized from the house were 1,195g of drying cannabis and growing plants.
Davis was later arrested and found to be in possession of £1,052 in cash. When Ellis was arrested, officers seized £1,090 from him, and later discovered £2,450 at his home.
Ellis, of Mill Road, Bozeat, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of a Class A drugs.
He was sentenced to nine years and four months for the first count and 13 years and 4 months for the second, to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to eight months for a POCA offence.
Davis, of Woodpecker Drive, Billing Aquadrome, admitted being concerned in the conspiracy to supply of a Class A drugs.
He received eight years and four months.
He was also sentenced to three months to be served consecutively, for failing to disclose his phone PIN, which is an offence under the RIPA Act.
Gentle, of Crabb Street, Rushden, also admitted his part in the conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, along with the production and supply of cannabis after a grow was discovered at his home.
He was imprisoned for four years and seven months.
Det Insp Greg Maides said: “The seizure of the, not insignificant, 122g of cocaine in November 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg, as evidenced during our investigation into these three men.
“This wasn’t a one-off, rather an established criminal association and part of a wider organised crime group involved in drug supply throughout the east of Northamptonshire.
“As in most drugs cases, scratch the surface and a wider picture of offending is revealed.
“The fact that these men are now behind bars for a substantial amount of time has no doubt protected our communities from untold damage.”