Five members of an organised crime group have been jailed for a combined total of almost 40 years for their parts in the supply of Class A drugs in Colchester and incidents of serious violence in the city.
Stephen Ford, Kian Rulten, Jack Tyrer, Luke Welham and Jake Goodspeed were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Wednesday 25 January, thanks to the work of detectives from our Op Orochi team, which is tasked with tackling and dismantling drug supply networks.
Stephen Ford and Kian Rulten ran the F&K line in Colchester between April 2021 and July 2022. In that time, it was responsible for significant supply of cocaine through two marketing phone numbers.
Over that period of time, thousands of drug deals were made and an absolute minimum of 1.5kg of cocaine was sold for an absolute minimum of £100,000.
Over the course of the investigation, officers were able to overwhelmingly prove that all five men were part of the operation. Although the line was overseen by Ford and Rulten, Welham and Goodspeed were both responsible at different times for holding the line. Tyrer was used as a runner.
Neither Ford not Rulten regularly handled any product, but Op Orochi officers were able to link them to drug supply through phone analysis which showed high levels of communications between all five men, including at specific times of interest to detectives.
In the early period of the group’s drug operation, the line was held by Karlin Cavill, previously of Old Road, Clacton, who was sentenced to 45 months in jail last year.
The line then transferred to Welham, then to Goodspeed. Tyrer was also seen on CCTV buying top up credit for the line.
A series of warrants were executed on 21 July 2022 and all five men were arrested on suspicion of drug offences. During searches of their homes, cash and property were seized.
Ford and Goodspeed had previously been arrested as part of an investigation into a serious assault outside the Leather Bottle, in Shrub End, Colchester.
They both admitted their parts, with Goodspeed admitted to one count of wounding and Ford admitting assault.
Each of the men admitted their parts in the drug operation and were sentenced alongside each other on Wednesday.
Ford, 32, of Monkwick Avenue, Colchester admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, assault, possession of an offensive weapon in a private place and possession of a knife and was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison.
Goodspeed, 25, of Monkwick Avenue, Colchester, admitted wounding, conspiracy to supply cocaine and acquiring or using criminal property. He was sentenced to a total of nine years and seven months in prison.
Kian Rulten, 27, of Morant Road, Colchester, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, acquiring or using criminal property, affray and assault. He was jailed for a total of nine years.
Jack Tyrer, 24, of The Commons, Colchester, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and a number of driving offences. He was jailed for four years and two month.
Luke Welham, 26, of Vince Close, West Mersea, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession with intent to supply cocaine, acquiring or using criminal property and possession of cannabis. He was jailed for seven years and six months.
Proceeds of crime proceedings have commenced and we will look to recoup as much money as possible from each man.
We will also be pursuing serious crime prevention orders for each man which will mean their ability to re-offend when they are released will be significant mitigated.
'Colchester is a safer place now these men are in prison'
Detective Sergeant Jonathan Stephenson, of our Op Orochi team, led the investigation.
“These men were causing significant harm in Colchester, both through sale of Class A drugs and through incidents of serious violence. “There is no doubt this group was operating at a sophisticated level but our methods of disrupting OCGs are more sophisticated than ever. This means we can meet their challenge head on. “These men were a danger to our community. Through our work, we were able to prove the harm they were causing, show how they were running the network and who exactly was involved. “This will cause significant disruption to their criminal network and this will undoubtedly prevent many more incidents of violence in Colchester.”