Grandparents ran Class A drug gang with grandkids and cut cocaine with laxatives
A pair of grandparents ran a drugs empire with their grandkids that pushed cocaine, heroin and MDMA.
Gran Dianne Wright and her husband Philip Stephenson expanded their business by recruiting grandsons Aaron, Wesley and McKenzie Stephenson and his girlfriend, Centaine Armstrong.
The family dangerous concoctions to help maximise profits – often mixing their cocaine with worming powder, laxatives, laundry detergent and carcinogenic substances.
A raft of Northumberland properties associated with the family were targeted by police in February 2018.
Cops seized £22,000 in cash, a quantity of bulking agents, an ingredients list as well as a crossbow, air weapon and bullets, Chronicle Live reports.
A search carried out at Aaron Stephenson’s property in Widdrington discovered a further haul of drugs and £17,000 in cash.
Six people have now been found guilty of being involved in the plot after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Detective Constable Debbie Nisbet said: “Today’s result has been the culmination of two years’ worth of hard work from officers who are passionate about keeping our streets free from drugs.
“The Stephenson family showed a blatant disregard for the law and thought they would never be caught. They selfishly exploited vulnerable drug users – selling dangerous products mixed with toxic chemicals – some of which can cause cancer – simply to turn a profit.
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“The weapons we seized showed they were prepared to use violence to keep themselves in business and our streets are a safer place with them behind bars.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the officers who helped with this investigation and helped us achieve this result.”
Diane Wright, 60, and Philip Stephenson, 66, both of Woodhorn Road, Newbiggin were found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.
Aaron Stephenson, 26, of Chestnut Way, Widdrington, was also found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.
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Wesley Stephenson, 23, of Storey Crescent, Newbiggin, was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of Class A and C drugs.
Mckenzie Stephenson, 22, of Aidan Grove, Ellington and his girlfriend Centaine Armstrong, 21, of De Merley Gardens, Widdrington pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
They are all due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on May 6.
Their associates, Amy Sillet, 22, of Portia Street, Ashington, Brad Fogerty, 23, of Park View, Ashington and Lewis Potter, 25, of Linden way, Ellington, were found not guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
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