Weston Coyney gang member Adrian Clewlow busted for carrying £10k of drugs cash
A MAN hired to help launder money for a Potteries-based drugs ring has been jailed for 16 months.
Police mounted a major undercover operation to snare the gang, including ringleader Damien Miller and 'right hand man' John Phillips.
Also netted in the police swoop was Adrian Clewlow, who was caught carrying more than £10,000 of drugs money in a taxi in March last year.
Pat Sullivan, prosecuting at Stafford Crown Court yesterday, said Clewlow was hired via a text message from Phillips 'explaining that he had a job for him to do and he would be paid for it.'
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Police stopped the taxi in Middleport on March 29 and arrested Clewlow who had a bag containing £10,470. The defendant's fingerprints were on the bag.
Clewlow was released on bail and whilst at liberty he went on to pay money in to Miller's bank account on two separate occasions, the total amount being £500.
Clewlow, aged 27, of Weston Drive, Weston Coyney, admitted two charges of conspiracy to convert criminal property.
Judge Michael Cullum told him the money laundering offences were based around drug conspiracies and enabled Clewlow to earn money.
He said: "You knew what you were doing was criminal and furthering the serious criminal business which you had walked in to."
The judge formally acquitted Clewlow of a charge of conspiracy to supply heroin.
Balbir Singh, defending, said: "My client is not to be sentenced for any drug involvement.
"When he was approached in March 2011 he had no job and no money and was offered a wage to carry out this relatively straightforward task and he fell to temptation.
"His job was to be put in the front line, collect the bag and drop it off."
Police worked with prison staff to bring the gang of 13 to justice.
Miller helped run the cocaine and heroin supply operation while serving time at an open prison.
The 31-year-old, formerly of High Street, Knutton, was jailed for 10 years last week after admitting two counts of conspiracy to supply class-A drugs.
Detectives liaised with staff at HMP North Sea Camp, in Lincolnshire, over the course of their three-month investigation into the drugs ring.
Miller, who was serving a sentence for a previous drug offence, was allowed to leave the prison on day release, even though he was suspected of continuing his criminal career. This allowed detectives to gather enough evidence against him and fellow drug dealer Phillips of Rownall Road, Meir, to secure convictions.
Phillips was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.