Brighton and Hove drugs gang jailed for 25 years

Posted On 15 Oct 2010 at 6:09 pm

A Brighton and Hove drugs gang, which was helped by a special branch detective, was jailed for a total of 25 years today.

Anthony Hill, for the Crown Prosecution Service, described the four men sentenced today as part of “a prolific organised crime group concerned in the wholesale supply of cocaine”.

They were jailed at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiring to supply Class A drugs and having Class A drugs with intent to supply them.

The four jailed today were

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  • James Parker-McCue, 30, of Old School Place, Hove, who was sentenced to nine years in prison
  • Fergus Gilman, 41, of The Lichfields, in Basildon, Essex, and formerly of St Margaret’s, Rottingdean, was sentenced to five years
  • Shaun Clancy, 43, also of The Lichfields, in Basildon, Essex, and formerly of St Margaret’s, Rottingdean, was sentenced to five years
  • Darren Simpson, 43, a manager for Brighton and Hove City Council, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, was sentenced to six years and three months

Simpson’s boyfriend, Darren Graysmark, a former Sussex Police special branch officer, was jailed in August for 16 months for laundering money for his partner.

They were brought to justice after an eight-month undercover operation by the Sussex Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

Speaking after the men were sentenced, Mr Hill said: “This was a prolific organised crime group concerned in the wholesale supply of cocaine.

“James Parker-McCue was responsible for preparing and distributing large quantities of the drug and acted as the wholesaler.

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“Fergus Gilman and Shaun Clancy together with Darren Simpson were assisting Parker-McCue in this enterprise by bulking out pure cocaine by mixing it with adulterants, then transporting and storing products used in their joint venture.

“Every one of them played a significant role and each knew what their role was as part of a common agreement to supply the drug.

“This was a sophisticated operation and the prosecution’s evidence was based on a number of events and complex telephone and forensic evidence.”


The surveillance of an illicit meeting between three men triggered a series of arrests starting in October 2008.

It later revealed the extent of the network and the defendants’ involvement.

A Ford Mondeo at the centre of that meeting was followed, searched and found to contain 122g of cocaine of 99 per cent purity.

The driver Serkan Ozey was acquitted of possession with intent to supply cocaine.

His passenger Sadettin Uysalan pleaded guilty to the same charge and was later sentenced to 36 months imprisonment.

The third man at that meeting was followed to Parker-McCue’s home address.

During the course of the investigation that followed three other suspects were identified, properties searched and the threads linking all the men were unravelled.

Simpson’s car contained three blocks of white powder weighing 3kg with an estimated street value of £148,000. The blocks were bound with duct tape in a bag.

Parker-McCue’s DNA was found on the sticky underside of the tape.

Tipped off

A mobile phone belonging to Parker-McCue was in regular contact with Simpson and Gilman who tipped off Parker-McCue that Simpson had been arrested.

The property shared by Gilman and Clancy was searched and found to contain large bags of cutting agents believed to have originated from a barrel in Parker-McCue’s garage.

Fingerprint impressions on those bags were identified as Parker-McCue’s.

Shortly after Simpson’s arrest, Parker-McCue fled to Alicante in Spain and a European Arrest Warrant was issued for his arrest.

Spanish Police arrested him at a birthday party in a property he owns there.

Mr Hill added: “These men were operating business deals worth tens of thousands of pounds on the back of an illegal life-destroying substance.

“We worked closely with Sussex Police from the outset of this case and a strong case was built against them all culminating in extradition proceedings to return Parker-McCue to face justice in the UK.

“Their guilty pleas indicate just how compelling the evidence against them is and their arrests and convictions have systematically dismantled a professionally organised drug network.

“We will now seek to confiscate to confiscate the lucrative financial proceeds of the conspiracy.”

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