Seven jailed over £500,000 conspiracy after drug haul discovered in cemetery

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SEVEN PEOPLE involved in a drug conspiracy operation worth over £500,000 have been jailed for a total of more than 42 years.

The gang, who used cutting agents to bulk out the drugs, even stashed some of their supply in Harrogate’s Stonefall Cemetery. North Yorkshire Police seized £561,000 worth of heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine from various address in Harrogate. Joseph McIntyre was seen hiding 3kg of methlamphetamine in undergrowth at the cemetery on November 2, 2012. He and his sister, Philomena McIntyre, and their brother Thomas McIntyre were seen searching for the drugs which had been recovered by police. Joseph McIntyre, 37, of Fountains Avenue, Harrogate, was jailed for 16 years following a trial at Teesside Crown Court after being found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs.

Philomena McIntyre, 36, of Stanhope Drive, Harrogate, will be sentenced later. Thomas McIntyre, 31, of Bilton Drive, Harrogate, was given six years in prison.

Joseph McIntyre’s partner, Fay Read, of Fountains Avenue, Harrogate, was handed a four-year jail term. Martin Clayton, 50, of Forest Grange Close, the only member of the gang to plead guilty, is awaiting sentence.

During a raid at the Claytons’ home in Albert Place in December, 2012, officers found heroin worth £284,810 and amphetamine worth £80,000.

Clayton’s wife, Victoria, 54, of Albert Place, Harrogate, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. James Kenny, 30, of Partington Avenue, Bootle, was jailed for two and a half years.

Julie Scruton, of Lime Street, Harrogate, was jailed for six years. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on her husband David Scruton’s alleged involvement. Russell Baker, Julie Scruton’s brother, aged 35, now of Robert Street, Harrogate, was jailed for three years.

Det Insp Mark Pearson said: “Every member of this gang played a significant part in the conspiracy.”