doc

A DRUGS gang that operated across Dorset has been jailed for a total of almost 36 years - but two of the convicted men have gone on the run.

The five men, who conspired to sell nearly £200,000 worth of cocaine, were handed hefty jail terms at Bournemouth Crown Court on following a trial.

They are Scott Woods, 25, of West Road, West Lulworth; Guy Anning, 22, of Wayman Road, Corfe Mullen; Dean McLeod, 33, of Damwood Road, Speke, Liverpool; Stewart Davidson, 29, of Greenhill, Weymouth and Ashley Smith, 29, of Challacombe Street, Poundbury.

Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw said the conspiracy involved preparing cocaine of high purity at two Dorset addresses - Wayman Road and Challacombe Street.

Only Woods, the ringleader, was involved at both sites and thus charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was jailed for 12 years by Judge John Harrow.

Anning was given seven years - with one year concurrent for cultivating cannabis - McLeod six and Davidson six, while Smith, the only defendant to plead guilty, was handed four years and nine months.

A sixth defendant, 27-year-old James Cosser of Queen's Park Gardens, Bournemouth, was remanded in custody for sentencing on July 24.

Woods and McLeod absconded during the trial and are now being hunted by police.

Senior Investigating Officer Craig Travers said the men were motivated by “cynical greed”.

“These individuals chose to live a certain lifestyle and turned to criminality to fund it rather than earning money legitimately,” he said.

“They showed no regard to the ill effects caused by supplying these drugs to the communities of Dorset.”

The six men were arrested during drug raids in October and November 2012 as part of Dorset Police Major Crime Team's Operation Ace.

Earlier this month a further man - Christian Hill, 29, of Wimborne - was given a suspended sentence of eight months imprisonment for cultivation of cannabis.

Anyone with information about the pair on the run should call police in confidence on 101, or 999 if they see them. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A clear message

SENIOR Investigating Officer Craig Travers said the sentences sent out a clear message that drug dealers would be brought to justice.

“Drug dealing, drug use and associated crimes cause nothing but devastation and misery,” he said.

“Dorset Police does not tolerate drug dealers and the conviction and sentence of these individuals displays our commitment to tackling organised crime groups.”

He praised the officers who worked on the case, in particular Detective Constables Neil Robbins and Jamie Halford, for their hard work.