Regional News — November 30, 2016 at 4:09 pm — Updated: November 30, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Rhyl man jailed after Salford drug sting

Greater Manchester Police

Greater Manchester Police

A man who moved to Rhyl after he became caught up in a crime sting has been jailed for eighteen months.

Darren Worthington was among six men convicted following a three year undercover investigation targeting gangland criminals in Salford. Worthington’s two sons, Lee and Stephen, were also jailed for drug dealing and selling firearms.

A police officer, who went by the alias of ‘John Sherwood’, ran a fake cafe on Littleton Road which sold protein supplements. Worthington (51), originally from Salford, was the shop’s landlord and introduced him to his sons. He had been running a workshop where he used a press and moulds to prepare bulk quantities of drugs.

After three and a half years, Operation Damson came to a head in September 2015 when 27 people were arrested – all but three were charged and seven firearms were recovered, along with class A, B and C drugs and press & cutting equipment.

Greater Manchester Police said Lee Worthington was among the most serious offenders – he supplied the undercover officer with high purity cocaine, benzocaine, two revolvers and a club drug known as ‘magic’. The 32 year old from Salford was sentenced to ten years in jail.

Among the other defendants:

  • Sean McDonagh (27) of Cheetham Hill was jailed for eight years for selling two firearms.
  • Garry Meadowcroft (27) of Crumpsall was jailed for nine years for selling two firearms and possessing cocaine.
  • Lewis Pennington (23) of Salford was jailed for three years and six months for supplying cocaine.
  • Stephen Worthington (29) of Walkden was jailed for three years for possessing cannabis and heroin and supplying cocaine and a drugs press.

Another eleven men and two women were sentenced at an earlier hearing at Manchester Crown Court. GMP chief constable Ian Hopkins: ”This week’s sentences bring to an end an operation that started in early 2012. After an immense amount of dedicated work, 20 criminals who were involved in organised crime in Salford are now serving substantial time in jail. That represents a significant number of people who are no longer free to fuel the criminal underworld they operated in.”

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