Drug dealer murdered rival nicknamed Tank to send a chilling message
A drug dealer has been jailed for life for his part in murdering a dad in front of his children – and it was done to send a “chilling message” to a rival.
Wade Cox shot dad and rival drug dealer Luke Graham – known as “Tank” – at point blank range from a van while his children were nearby.
Cox's henchman, Callum Halpin, who has now been given a sentence of more than 30 years, while Cox was slammed in prison for 36 years minimum.
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The hearing took place today (February 3) At Minishull Street Crown Court in Manchester, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Graham's father Peter said: “It's just a massive thank you to GMP. They never gave up..
“He's (Callum Halpin) not a normal person is he?!
“He's nothing to me, he's completely nothing along with the other one Cox.
“They can serve their time together.”
CCTV footage from that fateful day in June, 2022, showed a silver Audi containing Cox, a second man, and Mr Halpin, arriving on Birch Street at 4:45pm with all three men going into the property.
Minutes later, a van being driven by Anton Verigotta – Mr Graham's associate – with Mr Graham in the passenger seat arrived. Cox emerged from the house and fired his gun through the van's passenger window, hitting Mr Graham to the shoulder, which proved fatal.
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Judge Cheema-Grubb said to Halpin, she added: “You are a confident, intelligent man.
“In 2018 you had somewhere to live, a girlfriend and you had some skills and training but you were growing cannabis with others involved in that world – that was your choice.
“You enjoyed going to the gym to build yourself up and project that kind of image, I reject the argument that you were gullible.
“There was significant planning and premeditation. Your intention was to send a chilling message to rival drug dealers.”
Bizarrely, after being sentenced, Halpin turned to the public gallery and gave his mum a thumbs up as he was being taken to prison.
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