Six men who made more than £130,000 each from flooding Ellesmere Port with crack cocaine and heroin have been ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains.
Billy Neil, 25, Anthony Atkins, 27, Andrew Bebbington, 34, Kalib Morris, 20, Gerard Privilege, 29, and Liam Quinn, 18, were all convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
They were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday 21 September.
The men were told they would serve a combined sentence of around 36 years in prison. Liam Quinn was also sentenced for possession with intent to supply MDMA, ketamine and cocaine.
All of the men returned to Chester Crown Court for a proceeds of crime confiscation hearing on Wednesday 27 March 2019.
The court heard that a financial investigation conducted by Cheshire Police revealed the men made between £133,740 and £135,230 from their county lines drug activity.
Detective Inspector Alastair Hinze, of Cheshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Alongside the criminal operation we launched a confiscation investigation to uncover the extent of the men’s ill-gotten gains.
“While these men will serve time in prison for committing their drug activity a thorough investigation by a hard working team of detectives has ensured they will also have to pay back the money they earned from doing it which sends a message that crime does not pay.”
Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, of Ellesmere Port CID, said: “This organised crime group riddled Ellesmere Port with crack cocaine and heroin – even dealing the drugs in a children’s play area.
“Their only thought was for the money they would earn and now they will have repay it back. There is no place for drug activity in our community and we will continue to work hard to ensure criminals realise it is a difficult place for them to operate.
“I would encourage anyone who has concerns relating to drug activity in the community to please call Cheshire Police on 101.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “I am pleased that money that has been taken from organised criminals who victimise vulnerable people is being reinvested into our communities.
“This type of action sends a message to our communities that crime doesn’t pay and is a strong warning to criminals that believe they can financially benefit from crime.”