East Lindsey men plead guilty to large-scale drug operation ‘involving £37,500 of heroin’

Leicester Crown Court
Leicester Crown Court

Three men from Louth, Mablethorpe and Croft have pleaded guilty to their part in a large-scale drugs operation, involving around £37,500 worth of heroin.

Giles Smith, 42, of Long Acre in Mablethorpe, and Ian Tolley, 38, of Croft Lane in Croft, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply at Leicester Crown Court on the first day of their trial (April 19).

Neil Tolley, 44, of Aswell Street in Louth, had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and dangerous driving at an earlier court hearing.

Another man - Keith Garner, 41, of Richmond Avenue in Leicester - also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and possession of criminal property at an earlier hearing.

Giles Smith, Ian Tolley and Neil Tolley were arrested on October 27 last year 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 per cent purity, with an estimated street value of £37,500.

Garner was arrested on November 3 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.”

• All four men are due to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday May 18.