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Prison cell business smashed by police

October 24, 2014, 3:39 pm

A family-run organised crime group orchestrated from a prison cell has been smashed thanks to Greater Manchester Police.

The four individuals, bonded by family and relationship ties, were responsible for the production and distribution of cannabis in the Tameside area.

The head of this organised crime group was Lee Burgess, who ran the firm from inside a prison cell thanks to an illegal mobile phone smuggled into the prison.

However, their criminality has now been exposed thanks to the Tameside Organised Crime Team.

Lee Burgess (born 04/01/1988), of HMP Risley, pleaded guilty to supply cannabis at an earlier hearing and was also convicted of acquiring criminal property following a trial.

His brother Peter Burgess (born 27/06/84), of High Bank Road, Droylsden, pleaded guilty to supply cannabis, possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply, production of cannabis and abstracting electricity at an earlier hearing. He was also convicted of entering into a money laundering arrangement following a trial.

Sophie Burgess (born 23/04/1988), of High Bank Road, Droylsden, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and allowing her property to be used to produce cannabis at an earlier hearing.

Brogan Dean (born 20/10/1993), of Catherine Street East, Denton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis, possession of cannabis and possessing criminal property at an earlier hearing.

Today, 24 October 2014, they were sentenced to at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Sophie Burgess was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work; Peter Burgess was jailed for five years and six months, Brogan Dean was given a 12 month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and Lee Burgess was jailed for two years and 10 months.

£35,925 has also been confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Burgess was the head of the empire, despite already being in prison for a previous offence of supplying Class A drug. Inquiries by police established he was still running the criminal enterprise through an illegal mobile phone smuggled into the prison, which he used to direct his brother Peter Burgess on how to run the family business.

Peter Burgess’ partner Sophie Allen was also involved in the supply of cannabis, and Brogan Dean – who is Lee Burgess’ partner – would collect the profits on their behalf.

On 11 January 2013, officers swooped on Dean’s home and found drugs paraphernalia along with £4,000 in cash in four bundles stashed in Dean’s bedroom. In the loft, a further £3,000 in bundles and a carrier bag stuffed with just shy of £30,000 in cash were seized.

Two months later, officers raided Peter Burgess’ home and discovered the remains of a cannabis farm in the loft as well as several thousand pounds worth of high purity cocaine and cutting agents.

Detective Constable Joe Harrop, from the Tameside Organised Crime Team, said: “This was truly a family firm. These four individuals formed the backbone of an organised crime group responsible for the production and distribution of cannabis in the Tameside area.

“It is clear from the volume of cash we recovered it was a lucrative enterprise and it was almost certainly the lure of easy money that persuaded Burgess to continue to pull the strings despite being locked up for dealing drugs.

“Unlike the vast majority of people who work for a living, these four simply wanted to line their own pockets producing and peddling drugs and I am delighted this operation has been exposed and they have been punished for their criminal behaviour.

“It must be galling for people in our community to see drug dealers like this who can’t be bothered to find honest work driving around in flash cars and enjoying the wealth criminality can bring so it’s a victory for our communities as much as anyone else to see these people brought down a peg or two.

“The Tameside Organised Crime Team works 24/7 to disrupt and dismantle the gangs that bring misery to the streets of our community and we will continue to target these criminal networks, using every available resource in our arsenal to bring them crashing down.

“Our message is clear – if you are involved in these crime groups in any way, we will be coming for you.”

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