A PHV driver ferried cocaine across Merseyside as he worked as a drug dealer for an organised crime group (OCG). According to the Liverpool Echo, Thomas Willis used a Volkswagen Pas- sat to pick up fares while also dealing cocaine. The 29-year-old drove a kilo of cocaine from the car park of a Wirral dentist, where he met one of the OCG leaders, Liam Bradley, back to his home in Eastham. During a raid at his address the same day, officers discovered the 76% pure cocaine, worth up to £100,000, stashed in a Home Bargains bag. Willis was jailed along with four other dealers who took part in the cocaine plot last week. Gerald Baxter, prosecuting at Liverpool Crown Court, said: “Willis was a regis- tered PHV driver, (as was Gary Clare) and their employment provided a legit- imate cover in relation to their involvement in the supply of Class A drugs.”

On January 23 last year, officers watched as Gary Clare parked his Mazda on Mallory Road in Prenton. Mr Baxter explained that Liam Bradley,

Thomas Willis Gary Clare

29, pulled up behind Clare, 59, who got out and passed “an object through the driver’s window”. Two minutes later police watched as Bradley drove to Prenton Road East and walked to the dentist car park, get- ting into the Willis’ PHV. Bradley, who would organise the preparation, storage and transporta- tion of drugs, spent four minutes in the vehicle before getting out. Willis then drove to his home where officers discovered the block of cocaine and arrested him. Officers also found scales, £3,480 and and 340 grams of creatine, which is often mixed with cocaine as a cutting agent.


A taxi driver was arrested on the night of 10 July after failing a roadside drug test during their shift. LancsLive reports that officers from Lancashire Constabulary carried out an operation with Blackburn with Darwen Council taxi licensing officers which included stopping taxis and carrying out searches. One of the drivers was arrested after showing a positive result for cocaine and cannabis when he took a roadside drug test.


A spokesperson for police said: “Team 1 response officers have tonight carried out a multi agency operation with Blackburn Council Taxi Licencing offi- cers. “Around 20 taxis were stopped, four drug searches were carried out and sadly a taxi driver was arrested on sus- picion of drug driving after failing a roadside drug test for cocaine and cannabis whilst working. “A really positive result for keeping your roads and community safe.”

Mr Baxter said the total amount of cocaine found at Willis’ home was worth between £41,237.60 to £103,094. Willis, now of no fixed address, was employed as a trusted courier by the OCG and was jailed for six years and six months for conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply cocaine. He has no previous convictions.

On June 25 police raided homes belonging to other members of the gang, and at Bradley’s address in Pren- ton, they seized £5,000 in cash and jewellery including Rolex watches. Liam Bradley, 30, from Prenton, who played a leading role in the OCG, organising the preparation, storage and transportation of drugs, was sen- tenced to ten years for conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession with intent to supply cocaine. Gary Clare, 59, was employed as a courier for the OCG, and sentenced to eight years four months for possession of cannabis and being concerned in the supply of cocaine. Clare’s partner, Stacey Smyth, 38, received a 12-month community order with ten days rehabilitation and stan- dard surcharge. Stephanie Jones, 39, from New Ferry was sentenced to two years six months for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, and being concerned in the supply of cocaine. Gary Andrews, 47, of Birkenhead, was sentenced to three years for posses- sion with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of amphetamine and being concerned in the supply of cocaine. He has no previous convic- tions. Commenting on the sentencing, Detec- tive Inspector Paul McVeigh said: “Today’s results show that we at Merseyside Police will leave no stone unturned in pursuing individuals who involve themselves in serious organised crime.”


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