An investigation led by the Northampton Neighbourhood Team has resulted in more than 20 years in prison for a Northampton gang who were so notorious that residents in the local area were afraid to leave their homes, even to “clap for carers”.
Kray Daniel Stewart, 20, previously of Northampton, Jamie Hobbs, 23, previously of Northampton, Kaylun Charlie Jermaine Smalley, 25, previously of Northampton, Carl Alan Richardson, 51, previously of Northampton, and Jerome Taylor, 20, of Morris Road, Northampton, were all involved in the supply of drugs in the St. David’s area of Northampton.
Largely operating out of an address in Drayton Walk, the gang were using vulnerable local children as look-outs and runners. They used high levels of violence to run their business - carrying weapons and committing criminal damage and arsons in order to intimidate residents.
This intimidation and anti-social behaviour became so bad that some residents felt too unsafe to go outside, even on Thursdays during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when everyone was “clapping for carers”.
As a response to their criminality, the Northampton Neighbourhood Team launched Operation Eagle - a lengthy investigation with the aim of securing enough evidence in order to put the gang behind bars.
On February 5, 2020, the first warrant was executed at the Drayton Walk address where a significant amount of heroin and cannabis was seized, along with cash, phones and weapons. That didn’t stop the gang though and a second warrant executed on March 25, 2020, uncovered more Class A drugs, weapons and cash.
On April 18, 2020, Stewart and Smalley were arrested after a dangerous seven-mile pursuit through Northampton, ending with a sting in the village of Holcot. Inside the Ford Fiesta was a dealer list for drugs and a significant mobile phone used by the group was seized.
The third and final warrant at the Drayton Walk address was conducted on April 22, 2020, with more Class A drugs, weapons and cash seized, and the day after, a Closure Order was completed, meaning the flat was no longer able to be used by the gang.
But enforcement continued, and on May 12, 2020, another warrant was conducted at Stewart’s address in Bondfield Avenue with a large quantity of heroin, crack cocaine, cash, weapons and phones all discovered.
As a result, Stewart, Hobbs, Smalley, Richardson and Taylor were charged with numerous drugs offences including conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs. All five maintained their innocence until months later when they had sight of the amount of evidence presented against them.
In light of this, Hobbs, Stewart, Smalley and Richardson pleaded guilty to the conspiracy offence with Taylor admitting to the offence of possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.
On December 16, 2021, Stewart was sentenced to seven years and six months, Hobbs to seven years and seven months, Smalley to four years, Richardson to two years and five months, and Taylor was handed a one year and nine month suspended sentence.
Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Andy Blaize, said: “In my 27 year policing career, this is without doubt, the best Neighbourhood Policing investigation I have ever seen.
“The lead investigator, PC Louise O’Sullivan, has shown an incredible level of determination, meticulousness and dedication to get this case over the line with a result of more than 20 years in prison for this gang.
“Since these five were put away, the change to the St David’s estate has been remarkable. Levels of crime, violence and anti-social behaviour have all reduced and it has improved the quality of life for our residents who now feel that they can come and go from their homes in safety.
“This operation is proof that if the community speak to officers and alert them to what is going on in their area, we will act on this intelligence and do everything in our power to make you feel safe again and bring the offenders of a crime to justice.”
*All footage taken at a time when PPE was not required in domestic settings*