Issued on 20/4/17 at 3:24 p.m.
Four men have pleaded guilty to their part in a large-scale drugs operation in Leicester and Lincolnshire.
Keith Garner and Neil Tolley admitted their involvement at earlier hearings, with Ian Tolley and Giles Smith pleading guilty yesterday (19 April) on the first day of their trial.
Smith, Ian Tolley and Neil Tolley were arrested on 27 October 2016 after an investigation was carried out by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
Garner met Smith in the car park of a fast food restaurant in Newark, Nottinghamshire, to carry out an exchange.
Garner left the scene. Smith stayed, and was met by Neil and Ian Tolley. The three left, travelling to another fast food restaurant. Smith took a bag from the boot of his car and handed it to Neil Tolley.
The three defendants left the restaurant in convoy, before being tactically stopped by police officers. Neil Tolley tried to evade arrest, driving his Ford Focus onto the pavement and attempting to make off from officers.
The bag recovered from the car was found, after forensic analysis, to be 1/4 kg of heroin at 61% purity, with an estimated street value of £37,500.
Garner was arrested on 3 November after being stopped by officers in Aylestone Road, Leicester, and was found to have £35,000 in cash with him. When Ian Tolley’s home was searched, 230g of heroin was found.
Investigator Matt Ridley, who led the investigation, said: “This was a thorough investigation leading up to the arrest of the defendants.
“With so much evidence against them, I’m pleased the outcome is a positive one."
Those who pleaded guilty are:
Keith Garner, 41, of Richmond Avenue, Leicester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and possession of criminal property
Neil Tolley, 44, from Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and dangerous driving at earlier hearings
Ian Tolley, 38, from Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of heroin with intent to supply
Giles Smith, 42, from Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply
All four will be sentenced on Thursday 18 May at Leicester Crown Court.