Convicted gang members issued with 10-year Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders
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Three members of an organised crime gang have now been issued with 10-year Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders (STPOs) two years after being convicted of modern slavery offences linked to drug dealing.
Following a trial in May 2021, Micah Thomas, aged 34, Marlie Ashby, aged 29 and 22-year-old Twvarnai Riviere were found guilty at Northampton Crown Court of various drugs and modern slavery offences and later sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.
The conviction was the first of its kind in the county and was the result of a two-year investigation by Northamptonshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Team, which focused on Thomas’ gang which operated in the Kiln Way and Queensway areas of Wellingborough.
Supported by his brother Ashby, Thomas was head of the crime gang, which organised and operated a drugs line, sourcing and supplying multiple kilos of heroin and crack cocaine between 2019 and 2020, making significant financial profits.
During the police investigation it was found that principal gang members used other associates and exploited, intimidated, and threatened vulnerable children to supply Class A drugs to local users which placed them at significant risk of harm.
Thomas was sentenced to 12 years for conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and a further three years for modern slavery offences, while Ashby was handed 10 years and two years for the same offences and Riviere received six years and one year respectively.
On Friday, November 17, the trio returned to Northampton Crown Court and were handed 10-year STPOs orders which prohibit contact with the victims in the case as well as arranging or facilitating any travel by any means for any person other than themselves or their immediate family.
They are also banned from owning or possessing any mobile phone or SIM card without notifying Northamptonshire Police within 48 hours of the ownership of such items. A breach of the conditions of the order will leave the individuals liable to immediate arrest, subsequent conviction and further sentencing.
Serious and Organised Crime Detective Inspector Nick Cobley, who led the investigation, said: “I am really pleased that we have secured the slavery and trafficking prevention orders against this dangerous Organised Crime Group (OCG).
“I continue to stress that children should always feel safe and be protected from the physical and psychological traumas that serious crime can cause. These are the first orders of this type to be secured against a criminal gang in Northamptonshire, making the future exploitation of children for drug dealing more difficult.
“Northamptonshire Police will continue to look at new ways to protect those most vulnerable in our communities and ensure childhoods are not being destroyed. We will relentlessly pursue those cowardly criminals who seek to use children for their gain.”
Tackling serious and organised crime is a matter of priority for the Force, along with serious violence, drug harm and violence against women and girls. More details can be found at www.northants.police.uk
If anyone has concerns about drug dealing, or someone becoming drawn into gang culture, please report it to us on 101, online at www.northants.police.uk/ro or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Left to right: Micah Thomas, Marlie Ashby and Twvarnai Riviere. Pic: Northamptonshire Police