Undercover police officer busts Manchester organised crime gang
An unnamed undercover police officer has been praised for his bravery after 11 men and two women were given sentences of up to 15 years in jail for their role in a significant organised crime gang in Greater Manchester.
Police said the operation to smash the network of "gangsters and gun-runners", which centred around 45-year-old Salford criminal Terence Hamer Snr, was a major success and also removed seven firearms from the streets of north-west England.
Hamer was jailed for 15 years at Manchester Crown Court this week, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
Together with the other 12 defendants, the gang has so far received prison sentences totalling 135 years, according to the force, after admitted a range of offences.
A GMP spokesman said the sentences followed an intelligence-led police operation that was carried out between February 2012 and March 2015 and involved a range of tactics, including undercover officers.
He said Hamer Snr was a constant presence throughout the three-year period, acting as a supplier, broker and facilitator of the supply of firearms and drugs.
Through Hamer Snr detectives identified a network of criminals involved in firearms, drugs, stolen goods and violence.
Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle said: "The scale of this week's sentences demonstrates that people who operate in organised crime in Greater Manchester will be caught, brought before the courts, and made to serve significant jail terms.
"The operation has removed seven guns from the streets of Salford and directly stopped countless further criminal acts occurring. To remove one gun from the streets is good news, to remove seven is immense.
"The sale of drugs and outbreaks of violence were a consistent feature in the lives of those who became embroiled in this underworld.
"The prison terms highlight how strongly we will deal with those involved in gun crime and drug supply, and should send a clear message to others who are considering a life in organised crime."
Greater Manchester mayor and police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd said: "This is tremendous work by Greater Manchester Police, in particular the brave officer who put himself at risk to protect others by collecting the intelligence needed to bring these gangsters and gun-runners to justice.
"Like all police operations, this will have been a huge team effort, and I commend each and every officer involved in catching these dangerous criminals. But I also want to thank those Salfordians who helped provide the local knowledge so vital in helping the police get these thugs off the streets and into jail."
Those sentenced so far are:
Terence Hamer, Snr, of Bury New Road, Salford, was jailed for 15 years for offences including conspiring to sell guns and supplying drugs.
Michael Conway, 49, of Lower Broughton Road, Lower Broughton, was jailed for eight years for offences including selling guns
Thomas Conway, 38, of Grindon Avenue, Salford, was jailed for nine years and four months for selling guns and conspiracy to possess ammunition.
Denise Donnelly, 58, of Fulmer Drive, Ancoats, was given a one year sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 160 hours unpaid work for drugs offences.
Matthew Roberts, 43, of Milton Place, Salford, was jailed for eight years and five months for firearms and drugs offences.
Mark Wright, 53, of Whiteway Street, Manchester, was jailed for seven years for drugs and firearms offences.
Steven Luke Smith, 44, of Deyne Avenue, Prestwich, was jailed for 12 years and eight months for drugs and firearms offences:
David Smith, 78, of Heywood Old Road, Bowlee, Middleton, was jailed for six years for firearms offences:
Jake Smith, 18, of Whalley Road, Whitefield, was given a two year sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work for firearms offences.
Barry Borton, 53, of Lewis Street, Eccles, was jailed for seven years for drugs and firearms offences.
Alan Thompson, 55, of Culverden Walk, Salford, was jailed for one year and four months for drugs offences and handling stolen goods.
Thomas Coffey, 50, of South Radford Street, Salford, was given a nine months sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work for drugs offences and handling stolen goods.
Gloria Power, 55, of Ridgeway Street, Manchester, was jailed for six years for drugs offences.
GMP said seven other people, who have admitted various drugs and firearms offences, are due to be sentenced later this month, including Terence Hamer Jnr, 21, of Wayside Grove, Worsley.