Six sentenced following drug supply conspiracy convictions – Berkshire
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Following a major investigation by Thames Valley Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, four men and two women have today (15/7) been sentenced to a total of 35 years and six months in prison after they were convicted of drug supply offences across Berkshire.
Ryan Watt, aged 28, of Amberley Road, Slough, and Ricky Sue, aged 56, of Brightwell Crescent, Tooting, London, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, conspiracy to supply ketamine and conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Watt was sentenced to a total of four years and six months’ imprisonment.
Sue was sentenced to a total of seven years and ten months’ imprisonment.
Joshua Harrison, aged 30, of Wavell Gardens, Slough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply cannabis, and was sentenced to seven years and nine months’ imprisonment.
Stacie Wellard, aged 36, of Frimley Drive, Slough, Aaron Lockwood, aged 41, of Main Road, Biggin Hill, Kent, and Catherine Lockwood, aged 39, of Quantock Close, Slough, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Wellard was jailed for four years and nine months.
Aaron Lockwood was sentenced to seven years and eight months’ imprisonment.
Catherine Lockwood was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The defendants conspired with persons unknown to supply large quantities of drugs across Reading.
Operation Sleek was an investigation launched into the organised crime group (OCG) who conspired to supply multi kilo quantities of cocaine and cannabis in the Reading area.
Over the course of an ongoing pro-active police surveillance operation between November 2019 and May 2020, the investigative team was provided with Operation Venetic material relating to phones being used by the targets of this operation.
Operation Venetic is the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications platform EncroChat.
The investigation that followed identified that Aaron Lockwood, assisted by his ex-partner, Catherine Lockwood, stored cocaine in an address before it was supplied to Aaron Lockwood’s customers, Wellard and Harrison.
Near the end of the investigation, Aaron Lockwood passed the use of an Encro phone to Sue.
Wellard and Harrison prepared the drugs to be sold on to customers across Berkshire.
Watt sourced his drugs from the same upstream supplier as Aaron Lockwood and Sue.
Following searches of the defendants properties beginning in May 2020, more than 1.5kg of cocaine and 8.9kg of cannabis were recovered, along with cash totalling more than £49,000.
The men and women were issued with summons on 3 August 2021.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Andrew Hall, of the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “The sentences passed down to these men and women today marks the end of a significant intelligence-led investigation following information received from the National Crime Agency.
“This was a very significant drug supply network, and those convicted brought large quantities of class A and class B drugs into the Thames Valley with the intention of flooding the area with them.
“I would like to pay tribute to all of our officers and staff, and our partners at the Crown Prosecution Service and the NCA for their support in securing these convictions and sentences.
“As a result of this successful partnership work, six members of this OCG will now spend significant spells in prison as a result.
“We will never tolerate the production and supply of drugs in our communities.
“They cause untold harm, particularly to those who are vulnerable, and tackling this type of criminality remains one of Thames Valley Police’s top priorities.
“Six major figures involved in the supply of class A and class B drugs have now been brought to justice, and they will be unable to bring harm to our communities for many years to come.
“Our Stronghold team will proactively and robustly pursue and prosecute offenders, and our activity will be both visible and covert to ensure that the harm brought into our communities by organised crime groups is removed.
“I would like to reassure our communities that we will continue to tackle drug supply and will continue to bring offenders before the courts where they belong.
“I would also urge anybody who has information about drug supply and production to get in touch with police.
“You can do so in the strictest confidence, either by calling 101, or by reporting anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Notes to editors:
No custody photo is available for Catherine Lockwood.