Two Margate men jailed as part of crime gang running multi-million pound drug operation

One of the cannabis factories

Two Margate men have been jailed for their role in an organised crime gang which ran a multi-million pound conspiracy to cultivate cannabis.

The two are amongst 14 offenders who produced industrial amounts of cannabis at numerous locations across Kent and Norfolk between 2013 and 2015.

An investigation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate uncovered a total of 16,428 plants, producing a yearly yield of £25 million.

Christopher Marsh, 30, of Ethelbert Road in Margate, was sentenced to four years. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and one count of abstracting electricity.

Damon Mills, 18 also of Ethelbert Road in Margate, was sentenced to 18 months. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and one count of abstracting electricity

The group operated from sites in Rochester, Sittingbourne, Rochester and North Walshamin Norfolk.

Each location was set up in an almost identical manner – purpose built two story wooden constructions that had been created inside industrial units. The layout and equipment used was also identical.

The offenders were sentenced at the Old Bailey during a four day hearing, which ended today (July 27). A 15th offender, Alan Marquiss, will be sentenced in September for his role.

Detective Inspector James Derham, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said ‘This was a highly organised and prolific conspiracy to produce and sell cannabis on an industrial scale

“We estimate the annual street value of these plants was in excess of £26 million – a significant amount of money that could have been used to fund further criminal activity.

“This case was a significant undertaking by the investigation team due to the level of sophistication and analytical work.  This case sends out a clear message that Kent Police has the resources and expertise to offenders involved in high level, organised criminality to justice.”

The other gang members

top to bottom, left to right are:
Terrance Murphy, Stephen Macey, Stefan Alex Henderson-Clarke, David Heath
Michael Edward Corcoran, Stephen Creed, Michael Jay Corcoran, David Graham
Christopher Marsh, Andrew Prowse, James Allen, Stuart Sollis
Colin Walls
  • James Allen, 39 and of Woolwich Road in Abbey Wood, London, was sentenced to seven years. He had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and three counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Stephen Macey, 25 and of Commercial Road in Paddock Wood, was sentenced to six years. He had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and five counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Michael Edward Corcoran, 51 and of Mount Avenue in Yalding, was sentenced to 14 years. He was found guilty of seven counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and five counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Michael Jay Corcoran, 28 of Odo Rise in Gillingham, the son of Michael Edward Corcoran, was sentenced to eight years. He was found guilty of four counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and four counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Stefan-Alex Henderson Clarke, 28 and Kennedy Walk in Walworth, London, was sentenced to seven and a half years. He was found guilty of four counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and four counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Stuart Sollis, 51 and of Bowyer Street in Camberwell, London, was sentenced to eight years. He was found guilty of five counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and four counts of abstracting electricity.
  • David Heath, 48 and of Wentworth Crescent in Peckham, London, was sentenced to seven years. He was found guilty of three counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and three counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Colin Walls, 53 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced to six years. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and was found guilty of two further counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and three counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Terrance Murphy, 47 and of Caspian Way in Purfleet, Essex, was sentenced to three years. He was found guilty of one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and one count of abstracting electricity.
  • Stephen Creed, 46 and of Beccles Road in St Olaves, Great Yarmouth, was sentenced to six years. He was found guilty following of one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and one count of abstracting electricity.
  • David Graham, 51 and of Plaistow Lane in Bromley, was sentenced to nine and a half years. He had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and five counts of abstracting electricity.
  • Andrew Prowse, 33 previously of Southampton Way in Camberwell, London, was sentenced to two and a half years. He pleaded guilty during proceedings to three counts of conspiring to produce cannabis.
  • Alan Marquiss, 69 and of Disraeli Road in Thamesmead, London, will be sentenced in September 2017. He pleaded guilty during proceedings to one count of conspiring to produce cannabis and one count of abstracting electricity.

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