Organised crime gang sentenced for a combined 39 years in prison
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Four members of an organised crime gang have been sentenced to more than 39 years in prison following a case which has seen the county’s first modern slavery sentencing linked to drug dealing.
Micah Thomas, 32, Marlie Ashby, 27, Twvarni Riviere, 20 and Jahmani Mitchell, 19, were found guilty of various drugs and modern slavery offences at the end of a trial in May, before being sentenced for their crimes at Northampton Crown Court, yesterday, August 5.
The four stood trial following a two-year investigation by the Northamptonshire Police Serious and Organised Crime Team, which focused on Micah Thomas, the head of the gang, and his drugs network, operating in the Kiln Way and Queensway areas of Wellingborough during 2019 and 2020.
Thomas, supported by his brother Ashby, organised and operated the drugs line, sourcing and supplying multiple kilos of heroin and crack cocaine within that time period, making significant financial profits.
They used other local associates and vulnerable children to supply drugs to local drug users.
Detective Constable James Roe, the officer in the case, from the Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: “I am really pleased with the sentences handed out by the court. This was a difficult and demanding investigation, requiring continuous attention and consideration.
“The sentences reflect the seriousness of the offences committed and the significant impact the gang’s actions have had within the local community in Wellingborough over recent years.
“I want to thank the members of the public who supported this case. It took real bravery to stand up and provide information and evidence against this particular group of offenders.”
Serious and Organised Crime Detective Inspector Nick Cobley, who led the investigation added: “This result once again shows Northamptonshire Police’s intent and ability to robustly tackle serious and organised crime.
“For years, this particular crime group have had such a negative impact on neighbourhoods across Wellingborough and wider areas. Their persistent criminality and associated violence have placed many people in fear and placed significant demands on policing and other public services. These sentences hopefully reinforce our commitment to relentlessly pursue those individuals involved in the most serious criminality occurring in our local neighbourhoods.
“I am particularly pleased with the sentences regarding the modern slavery offences. These are the first sentences of their type secured by Northamptonshire Police and will help highlight the despicable lengths criminal groups will go to.
“On this occasion, children were exploited, intimidated and threatened. They were forced to sell drugs and placed at significant risk in doing so. This is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“Children should always feel safe and be protected from the physical and psychological traumas that serious crime can cause. We will not sit back and allow childhood’s to be destroyed, we will continue to pursue those criminals who cowardly use children.”
Micah Thomas, 32, of Butts Road, Wellingborough, was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. He was also sentenced to three years for modern slavery offences.
Marlie Ashby, 27, of Green Street, Wollaston, was sentenced to 10 years for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. He was also sentenced to two years for modern slavery offences.
Twvarni Riviere, 20, of Kiln Way, Wellingborough, was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. He was also sentenced to one year for modern slavery offences. He also pleaded guilty to a separate offence of affray, following an incident in January 2020, for which he received one year in prison. He was handed a further six months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.
Jahmani Mitchell, 19, of Kiln Way, Wellingborough was sentenced to four and a half years for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
A fifth man, Ben Loasby, 24, of Birchfield Road, Wellingborough, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, will be sentenced later this month.