LAWFUEL – The UK Legal Newswire – A criminal network that included a drug dealer and his partner who hid a suitcase of heroin under a child’s cot, have been sentenced to a total of 32 years.
Spencer Wellington and Dominic Degannes, both 27yrs, were sentenced today at Blackfriars CC, following an investigation by the Met Police’s Middle Market Drugs Project Team, which is part of the Specialist Crime Directorate.
The operation recovered a total of 17.61kilos of heroin worth more than £1million.
It was during the search of a flat used by co-conspirators, Darren Richards and Natasha Francis, that they discovered a suitcase with heroin in it under the child’s cot.
In September 2006 Darren Richards (32yrs) and Natasha Francis (31yrs) were arrested after an operation by the Met Police’s Middle Market team,
Officers had watched as Richards met with Dominic Degannes (27yrs) and Spencer Wellington (27yrs) on Gayford Road, W12.
Richards had driven to the meet in a silver Clio and Degannes was seen to walk up to his vehicle with Wellington, before placing a black bin liner in the rear passenger seat.
Richards drove off and was stopped a short distance later. In the black bin bag was 15.8kilos of heroin, which was pure and had yet to be cut with other substances.
At the same time officers arrested Degannes and Wellington following violent struggles.
Having been transferred back to the station Wellington was able to break away from officers, climbing over a wall and running across train tracks to make his escape. He was arrested in July 2007 after an appeal on Crimewatch information was received that he was hiding at an address in Bedford.
A short while later a warrant was executed at Francis’ home in Shepherds Bush. Richards was inside and after being asked about anything officers might find, said:
“It’s in a suitcase in the bedroom”
Officer’s entered a bedroom and under a cot found a blue suitcase, which contained 1.8kilos of heroin. This was also pure.
A nine-year-old child and 18month old baby were in the property.
At the home of Richards officers found £1,000 in cash, which has been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Detective Inspector Gary Townsend, from the Middle Market Drugs Project, said:
“The actions of Richards and Francis highlights the callousness of drug dealers – not only do they seek to profit from the harm drugs cause our communities, but they are also willing to put the lives of their children at risk to do so.
“Drugs cause a considerable amount of harm and through teams like Middle Market, the Met continues to take the fight to those supplying them and would encourage anyone with information to pass it on. This is always dealt with in the strictest of confidence.”
Darren Richards (DoB: 7.9.1974 – 32yrs) of Cambridge Road, Bromley pleaded guilty at Blackfriars CC to conspiracy to supply 17.61kilos of heroin. He has been sentenced to a total of 10yrs years in prison at a hearing in July 2007.
Natasha Francis (DoB: 7.7.1976 31yrs) of Emlyn Gardens, Shepherds Bush was found guilty of possession with intent to supply 1.81kilos of heroin and was sentenced to three years in prison in June 2007.
Dominic Degannes (DoB: 11.4.1980 – 27yrs) of NFA pleaded guilty at Blackfriars CC to conspiracy to supply 15.8kilos of heroin. He has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Spencer Wellington (DoB: 22.1.1980 – 27yrs) of NFA pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply 15.8kilos of heroin and was sentenced to 14 years in prison in total.
He received twelve years for the offences . He pleaded guilty, which runs consecutively with a two year sentence he received for breach his licence.
Richards and Degannes pleaded guilty at Blackfriars CC at a previous hearing