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Cocaine gang sentenced to 24 years between them
A GANG of cocaine dealers from Southampton with links to Albanian drug cartel have been sentenced to more than 24 years in jail.
Over several months police monitored the men's phones and car journeys as well as observing their movements in a bid to thwart a drugs operation led by Eastern European gangsters.
When they finally pounced in Southampton they found cocaine with a street value of £50,000 along with cutting agents and cash, Southampton Crown Court heard.
The court was told that the men were involved in wholesaling the class A drug, cutting with substances such as caffeine before selling it on to dealers.
The Southampton based gang was led by Shae Flaherty, who was the point of contact for the Albanian drug smugglers in London.
His right hand man was Kristopher Easton, who at the time of the gang's arrest was co-ordinating the buying and delivery of the cocaine.
On July 31 of last year, officers from the Metropolitan Police and Hampshire's Major Investigation Team who led the operation, tracked Easton and an Albanian called Bledar Hyselinka.
Using number plate recognition and mobile phone tracking technology they were able to follow Hyselinka as he made his journey from London to Southampton.
Mitchell Collins was seen guiding Hyselinka into a meeting point on the outskirts of the city before driving in a convoy.
The drugs were then taken to Graham McStay's home in Somerset Terrace in Southampton where police pounced and found 1kg of cocaine.
All the defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deal class A drugs.
Flaherty, 27, of Bashley Caravan Park, Sway Road, Bashley was handed eight years. Khristopher Easton, 29, of Hulse Road, Southampton received seven and a half years Mitchell Collins, 27, of Redcote Close, Southampton was given two and a half years while Graham McStay, 32, of Cross Road Southampton, received three and a half years
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