Stalybridge man among crime network jailed for 44 years

AN organised crime network, that included a Stalybridge man, has been jailed for more than 44 years for distributing cocaine and heroin.

Michael Torskyj

Michael Torskyj, 39, of Clarence Street, Stalybridge, was sentenced to four years and six months. He also pleaded guilty to firearms offences and was sentenced to two years and six months to run concurrently.

Crime network organiser Anthony Leak, 27 of Fairfield Road, Openshaw, was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison at Manchester Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Mark Hunt, 36, of Pearl Way, Mottram, was sentenced to seven years.

Anthony Steenson, 31, of Rome Road, Collyhurst was sentenced to four years and eight months.

Samuel Dexter, 31, of Rycroft Grove, Wythenshawe, was sentenced to four years and four months.

Thomas Rawling, 37, of Smithy Lane, Ormskirk, was sentenced to five years.

James Dowling, 32, of Troutbeck Avenue, Ancoats, was sentenced to four years and eight months.

It followed an extensive police investigation, code-named Operation Segma that investigated the activities of an organised crime group involved in the supply of class A drugs across Greater Manchester.

The court heard how from Saturday November 5, 2016 to Wednesday March 1, 2017, police carried out four warrants and subsequently seized over four kilograms of cocaine and other class A drugs including heroin.

The drugs seized had an estimated street value of £726,000 and officers also seized a firearm and ammunition.

Leak, the head of the organised crime network, was subsequently arrested on Wednesday April 5, 2017, just four days prior to his first scheduled televised boxing fight after maintaining he was too busy focusing on his boxing career to be involved in criminality.

Det Insp Vicki Kenyon, of GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: “This was a hugely significant seizure of class A drugs and I am pleased that these men have been held accountable for their actions.

“Leak had everything going for him, by all accounts he could have been a very successful professional boxer, but clearly greed got in the way and he will now spend over 11 years behind bars to reflect on the sporting career he has denied himself of.

“I hope this investigation will go some way to showing how serious we are in our efforts to remove drugs from our streets and we will continue to target these organised crime networks.

“The sentence should send out a message to others who continue to go against the law and supply drugs or possess firearms. Drugs and fear will not be tolerated in our communities – we will find you and you will be brought to justice.”

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