Seventh gang member jailed over Gosport drugs plot

A SEVENTH man has been jailed – for five years – over his involvement in a class A drugs conspiracy in Gosport, bringing the total tally of prison terms to 48 years.

Officers from Hampshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit investigated the supply of heroin and crack cocaine over an eight-month period between September 1, 2018 and May 1, 2019.

They seized drugs with an estimated street value of £275,000, and cash in the region of £74,500.

On Friday, July 23, Jack Zachary Darvill, 22, of Londesborough Road, Southsea, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court on Monday, February 22, to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

On March 26, six other gang members had appeared at the same court and been jailed for a combined total of 43 years over their involvement in the conspiracy.

  • Liam Whitnell, 37, formerly of HMP Dovegate, had pleaded guilty on Monday, March 1, to one count of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was jailed for nine years.
  • Rayhaan Hoque, 38, of  Tower Hamlets, London, had been convicted on Tuesday, March 23, after trial on two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was jailed for 10 years.
  • Luke Alan Goldsmith, 28, of Rambler Drive, Gosport, had pleaded guilty on Monday, February 22, to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was jailed for six years.
  • John Edward Parham, 33, of The Crossways, Gosport, had pleaded guilty on Monday, February 22, to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was jailed for six years.
  • Lance Burt, 22, of Bury Hall Lane, Gosport, had pleaded guilty on Monday, February 22,to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He received three years, with a further two for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and acquiring criminal property relating to offences on April 30, 2020.
  • Jacob James, 26, of Briar Close, Gosport, had pleaded guilty on Monday, March 1, to one count of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and one count of possession of criminal property. He was jailed for seven years.Portsmouth Crown Court heard previously how the drugs operation was led by Liam Whitnell from his prison cell at HMP Dovegate where he managed to use illicit mobile phones to ensure the gang were active and collecting the Class A drugs for onward supply to vulnerable users.During the police investigation, officers recovered mobile phones which identified that arrangements were made on 23 occasions for members of the group based in Hampshire to travel to London to meet Rayhaan Hoque where the drugs were collected.The police investigation also identified 18 occasions where Hoque had travelled to Hampshire. Drugs were then distributed in Hampshire by Goldsmith, Burt, Darvill, Parham and James.