Gang caged over £2.5m drugs plot

Barry Roxburgh, 39, of Broadgreen Close, Leyland
Barry Roxburgh, 39, of Broadgreen Close, Leyland

Three men have been jailed for a total of 10 years after police intercepted a multi-million pound drugs haul at a flat in Bamber Bridge.

Barry Roxburgh, 39, of Broadgreen Close, Leyland, John Burke, 39, of Firbank, Bamber Bridge, and Alan Sedgwick, 56, of Downall Green Road, Wigan, had all previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.

The operation, described as an “organised and professional drug distribution ring” was described by detectives as one of the largest seen in the county in recent years.

Amphetamines with a street value of £2.5 million were found at addresses in Bamber Bridge and Ashton in Makerfield during the raids on April 17 this year.

Police acting on intelligence raided the home of ex-marine Burke and discovered Burke and Roxburgh surrounded by drugs and cutting agent.

Roxburgh was wearing a white latex glove, covered in white powder and there was white powder on the floor.

Empty boxes of glucose powder were found in the bin with receipts showing Burke had bought the cutting agent from a chemist earlier in the day.

Mobile phone evidence revealed a number of calls taking place between Burke and Roxburgh, and Roxburgh and Sedgwick, throughout the day.

A raid of Sedgwick’s home in revealed a further 20.25kg of amphetamine of varying purity and a bundle of bank notes totalling £745.

Sedgwick admitted acting as a courier, receiving to bags of amphetamines to distribute in exchange for drugs to feed his own addiction.

However he refused to name the person who supplied the drugs to him.

Elizabeth Shepherd, defending Burke, said the ex-Marine had acted naively in allowing his property to be used for the cutting of the drugs, after struggling to adjust to life after leaving active service.

Judge Alastair Webster QC, sentencing told Sedgewick: “Your role was very close to the source.

“You were involved in distributing and as a courier in relation to a large quantity of amphetamines. Your admissions to the police make it clear this was not a one-off.”

Addressing Roxburgh, Judge Webster said: “You recruited Burke.

“You overstudied the delivery and cutting.

“You played a very significant, bordering on leading role.”

To Burke he said: “I regard you as the number three.

“I take into account you have served in the forces in action, and anyone who reads the papers knows a significant proportion of persons who serve in the forces have difficulty adjusting to life on Civvy Street.”

He jailed Sedgwick for four years and three months, Roxburgh for three years and three months, and Burke for two years and nine months.

Det Ins Graham Coates, of Lancashire Police’s Targeted Crime unit, said: “This was a significant seizure. These are key players to be handling that quantity of drugs.

“In my experience it is one of the largest hauls I have seen.

“We are pleased with the result, and always urge the public to come forward with intelligence which will be investigated.”

A proceeds of crime hearing will follow in due course.