Drug gang kingpin busted over secret lab and stashing chemicals at holiday park

A drug smuggler told prosecutors they were “barking up the wrong tree” and claimed that you can get cocaine off “anyone” in his area.

Terence Earle was described as the "kingpin" behind an organised crime group which operated a secret £1million amphetamine lab and trafficked heroin and cocaine by the lorry load between Merseyside and Scotland.

Meanwhile, chemicals used in producing the speed were stashed at a holiday park on the outskirts of Blackpool, reports the Liverpool Echo.

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On Tuesday, April 18, Earle, 49, was jailed for 16-and-a-half years, after admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to produce amphetamine.

At Liverpool Crown Court Earle disputed that he had supplied 11kg of the class A drug and plotted to supply a further eight kilos, accepting that he had only being involved in the trafficking of 8kg alone.

He claimed that messages on encrypted communications platform EncroChat instead showed him making false promises to a contact in Scotland in order to "string him along" as he owed him £200,000 of amphetamine oil.

The associate had been expected to produce the drug from chemicals which the defendant had provided him.

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Martin Reid, prosecuting, put to Earle, as he took the stand, that one set of communications showed him discussing the adulteration of 9kg of cocaine into 12kg. But he replied: "You're barking up the wrong tree, mate."

The trafficker also compared his messages, which were revealed when the service was infiltrated by law enforcement agencies in 2020, to a book which could be interpreted in different ways by different readers. Earle added: "In this book, I'm the author."

He meanwhile claimed that he had facilitated the supply of one kilogram of cocaine to a friend after bumping into an acquaintance by chance in the streets of Huyton, saying of this: "You've got to remember, I'm in Huyton. You can get cocaine off anyone in Huyton."

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Sentencing Earle, the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC said: "You were a senior figure in this conspiracy. You must have had an established network of contacts.

"I am sure you were playing a leading role in this conspiracy. You were organising, buying and selling on a commercial scale.

"You had substantial links to others in the chain, with close connections to the original source. You must have had the expectation of substantial financial gain."

Earle, along with fellow-defendants Stephen Singleton, Stanley Feerick, Terence Earle and Lee Baxter, could see his assets seized during a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act, scheduled for later this year.


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