Drug-gang chief who ‘was above law’ given 23 years

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TEN men have been sentenced to a total of 87 years in prison for a series of drug and money laundering offences in South Yorkshire and north Nottinghamshire.

All 10 were convicted at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, and the last two were handed sentences yesterday.

Carl Clayton, 31, of no fixed address, received a nine-year prison sentence following his conviction for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Damien Fletcher, 28, of Wordsworth Avenue, Dinnington, near Rotherham, had also been convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was given a 10-year sentence.

The sentencing follows a 10-month operation and lengthy investigation by police.

Officers said the gang was led by James Flinders, 48, from his home in Park Avenue, Dinnington, who was sentenced to 23 years for conspiracy to supply class A, B and C drugs, various money laundering offences and perverting the course of justice.

Detectives described him as a career criminal with a reputation for violence who believed he was “above the law” as he co-ordinated family members and close friends in the operation which they said funded a luxury lifestyle, establishing a property portfolio worth more than £1m.

Other members of the gang already sentenced include David Bacon, 43, of Swinton Hill Road, Dinnington, who was convicted of the conspiracy to supply class A drugs and money laundering offences and was ordered to serve a term of 11 years and six months in prison.

Lee Tongue, 42, of Burns Road, Dinnington, was convicted of the conspiracy to supply class A and class C drugs and was sentenced to 12 years.

Glenn Irvine, 28, of Glover Close, Retford, and Simon Dilkes, 39, of Potter Street, Worksop, were convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and were sentenced to three years and 11 years in prison respectively.

Roy Tomlinson, 37, of Victoria Street, Dinnington, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class B and class C drugs and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Matthew White, 31, of Windsor Road, Worksop, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class C drugs and yesterday saw his sentence reduced from six years to five.

James Green, 33, of Swinton Hill Road, Dinnington, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class C drugs and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.