Organised crime group involved in drugs and firearms conspiracy jailed
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An organised crime group from Manchester have been jailed for over 45 years for conspiracy to supply drugs, money laundering and conspiracy to possess firearms, ammunition and explosive devices.
Today's sentence follows Operation Brooks, which involved extensive work by a covert team of officers who kept the group under close surveillance between October 2018 and July 2019.
The group's ringleader Jonathan Walsh, who was in a relationship with Jodie Bowie at the time of the investigation, was first arrested in July 2019 and in October 2021 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his part in the OCG.
The court heard how Walsh had operated the supply of drugs and – after detectives locked up his associates - he later used his partner's family to collect and transport the drugs and weapons.
Officers first conducted a strike targeting suspected drugs and firearm transporter Joseph Grey in Manchester in January 2019. At the time of the strike, Grey was carrying a firearm with over 100 rounds of ammunition and a homemade improvised grenade in his jacket pocket which he had collected that evening from an address in Merseyside before travelling back to Newton Heath, Manchester.
Following his arrest Grey's house in Newton Heath was subsequently searched and officers found an encrypted phone, 9kg of cannabis in vacuum sealed bags with a street value of £90,000, and 3.6kg of amphetamine which, if mixed further, would have had a street value of £100,000.
After losing a key part of the crime group's operations, Walsh recruited Kaylum Davies, who was later busted by police in March 2019 following a lengthy surveillance operation.
Davies was arrested after uniformed officers pulled his car over while driving on the A617 towards Mansfield. While searching Davies and his vehicle, officers found a small amount of cocaine, a knuckle duster, and an encrypted phone.
A further search of his home on Pirie Walk, Manchester, also found items including heroin, cannabis, a pistol, and body armour.
Police then searched the home of Kaylum Davies' sister, Chelsea Davies and her partner Noel Walsh - who is the brother of the group's ringleader Jonathan Walsh and was already in custody following an unrelated conviction. During the search they found 14kg of amphetamine and an encrypted mobile phone.
The court heard how following the arrest of Kaylum and Chelsea Davies, the Bowie family were then enlisted to help transport the drugs and cash between Manchester and Mansfield.
Following a surveillance operation, on 3 July 2019 officers identified an address frequented by Walsh on Clough Road, Failsworth. This was the home address of Geoffrey Keenan.
On 4 July 2019, police conducted a warrant at the address and as officers moved in to make the arrest, Walsh fled from the scene in his vehicle, ramming a police vehicle and mounting the kerb to make his escape despite local school children returning home. During the search, police located 15kg of cannabis with a street value of £150,000. Keenan had fled on foot but was arrested when he returned home later in the day.
Jonathan Walsh was arrested within the hour when he was collected by his partner in crime - Jodie Bowie - and returned to their lavish home at Medlock Rd, Woodhouses. Following Walsh's arrest the home was then searched where police found over £10,000 in cash and designer clothing valued at over £94,000, despite the fact that Walsh had not declared earnings since before 2013 and Jodie earnt less than £20,000 per year. Walsh was subsequently arrested.
The Clough Road property was searched again days later. During the second search a double plug socket wall safe was discovered with 50 foil wraps of heroin, 33 foil wraps containing cocaine and one bag of heroin and one of cocaine inside. Fingerprints of Kaylum Davies were then found on these foil wraps.
In a coordinated strike day on 16 October 2019, the home of Anthony Jones - another associate of Jonathan Walsh - and the homes of Jodie Bowie, Lee Bowie, Kaylum Davies were all searched and all four were arrested for their part in the criminal group. Chelsea Davies & Noel Walsh were also arrested the same day at Cattlin Way, Oldham.
Those jailed as part of Operation Brooks are as follows:
- Jonathan Walsh (17/02/1988) of Warwick Road, Failsworth, plead guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and money laundering and was later found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm, conspiracy to possess ammunition and conspiracy to possess an explosive device after trial at Manchester Crown Court in September 2021. He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
- Anthony Jones (26/05/1981) of Parkview Road, Liverpool, was found guilty after a trial at Manchester Crown Court in June 2021 of conspiracy to possess ammunition and conspiracy to possess an explosive device and sentenced to 15 years.
- Joseph Raymond Grey (09/11/1964), of Hopgarth Walk, Manchester, pleaded guilty to firearm offences and he later pleaded guilty to drugs and money laundering and was sentenced to 8.5 years at Manchester Crown Court in September 2021.
- Kaylum Davies (06/04/1997) of Pirie Walk, Newton Heath, Manchester pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Supply Class A Heroin and conspiracy to supply class b (amphetamine and cannabis) for which he received a 3 year sentence.
- Noel Brian Douglas Walsh (25/12/1983), Cattlin Way, Oldham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B and money laundering. He was sentenced to 3 years.
- Geoffrey Keenan (01/04/1967), of Clough Road, Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B and possession with intent supply cocaine and heroin was sentenced to 2 years 4 months.
The final offenders were sentenced today (22 February) at Manchester Crown Court for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, conspiracy to transfer criminal property and money laundering. They are as follows:
- Jodie Bowie (DOB 18/12/1989), Medlock Road, Failsworth, Manchester received 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
- David Bowie (DOB 13/11/1969), Warwick Road, Failsworth, Manchester received 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
- Janice Bowie (DOB 07/09/1968), Warwick Road, Failsworth, Manchester received 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.
- Chelsea Davies (DOB 06/12/1993), Cattlin Way, Oldham, Manchester received 14 months imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Lee Bowie (DOB 02/05/1987), Falside Walk, Newton Heath, Manchester is due to be sentenced at a later date.
Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Norman, of GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: "This was a lengthy and intricate operation dedicated to dismantling this criminal group.
"It's hard to comprehend just how damaging these weapons and drugs could've been on our streets had police not recovered them first.
"We've now managed to make sure these people remain in jail for a significant amount of time, and our community is now a safer place with them behind bars.
"I hope this operation sends a clear message that GMP will work relentlessly to pursue anyone involved in the supply or harmful drugs and weapons."