'Hotbed of drug activity': eight sentenced after undercover operation at former Weymouth pub

Dorset Echo: NO ENTRY: The pub was shut after the drugs raid in October 2012 NO ENTRY: The pub was shut after the drugs raid in October 2012

A MAJOR crackdown on a ‘hotbed of drug activity’ at a Weymouth pub has led to the sentencing of eight men.

Officers went undercover at the George Inn, Custom House Quay, between August and October 2012, following reports of dealing.

They were supplied with drugs such as Class A cocaine and Class B cannabis by a number of people – including the chef and a 17-year-old.

The pub was closed after a police raid and has since been relaunched as The George Bar & Grill, operating under new management.

The eight defendants involved in the case have been learning their punishments over the last few months and now that the last has been sentenced, the Echo can report on proceedings.

All but one was jailed, with the highest sentences being 32 months for those who played ‘significant roles’ in the criminal activity.

Officers who took part in Operation Goodnight – known only by fake names, such as ‘Danny’, ‘Harry’ and ‘Hannah’– bought drugs on a number of occasions, Dorchester Crown Court heard. Police had enough evidence to send in a riot squad at the end of October 2012, much to the shock of innocent patrons enjoying drinks and meals.

Sentencing all eight defendants, Judge Roger Jarvis said he was ‘deeply’ concerned to learn there was one place in Weymouth which became a ‘centre for the trade of drugs.’ He said he was anxious that innocent people had been visiting the pub when the illegal activity was going on.

He requested a ‘hierarchy chart’ from the prosecution so he could see who played the greatest parts in the operation.

Kevin Knox, of Dorchester Road, and Brian Moore of Alma Road, Weymouth came out at the top, both playing ‘significant roles,’ the court heard.

Many of the defendants, including Knox and Moore, admitted being drug addicts.

One was just 17 when he was arrested and admitted four counts of supplying cocaine and one count of supplying cannabis, the court heard.

In mitigation for teenager Connor Burrows, Tim Shorter said he got ‘swept up by his own naivety in to being ‘one of the boys’ and acted ‘as a junior shop assistant in an operation that was being run by people much older than him.’ At least four defendants were told by Judge Jarvis that it was a ‘shame’ they had let themselves down. He decided to ‘take a chance’ on one defendant and imposed a suspended sentence – but the rest were told that their punishment would have to be prison.

  • Speaking after the last sentencing, Detective Inspector Marcus Hester of the Dorset Police Major Crime Team said: “This was a detailed and protracted investigation.

“The sentences handed out by the court sends out a clear message that drug supply in Dorset will not be tolerated.

“It should also act as a warning to landlords that the police will not tolerate drug dealing within licensed premises or within the Dorset area.

“We will continue to proactively target anyone involved in drug supply.”

Kevin Knox

KEVIN Knox, aged 45, of Dorchester Road, Weymouth, played a ‘significant role’ in the operation.
He was sentenced to 32 months for three counts of supplying Class A drug cocaine. He admitted the charges.
In mitigation, Nicholas Robinson said the drug addict had ‘let himself down’ and ‘caused a great deal of shame,’ but wanted to reform.

Brian Joseph Moore

BRIAN Joseph Moore, aged 39, of Alma Road, Weymouth was also imprisoned for 32 months for two counts of supplying cocaine which he admitted.

He was working as a chef at the pub and in charge of the karaoke. In mitigation, Christopher Gair said Moore had been ‘battling with drugs for 20 plus years.’

He was told by Judge Roger Jarvis that prison was ‘inevitable’ for ‘those who deal in Class A drugs.’

Gary Strange

GARY Strange, aged 34, of Lea Road, Weymouth, was jailed for 16 months for one count of supplying cocaine, a charge he admitted.

In mitigation, Anne Brown said Strange was an alcoholic and thought he was ‘doing someone a favour’ by passing the drugs on.

Ms Brown said Strange did not display behaviour ‘which suggests he has given any thought to the seriousness of the offence that he has stumbled in to.’

Ryan Newton

RYAN Newton, aged 29, of Park Lane, Weymouth, was jailed for 16 months for supplying Class A drug cocaine with intent. He admitted the charge.

In mitigation, Christopher Gair said Newton ‘never profited’ from the sale of the drugs.

Judge Roger Jarvis told him: “You are about to learn, I fear, a very hard lesson.
“I have read the letters which have been brought to my attention and I can see that people think highly of you. What a shame that you didn’t keep up their view by keeping away from what the Crown has described as a hotbed of drug activity.”

Jason Barry Ian Francis

Dorset Echo:

JASON Barry Ian Francis, inset, aged 27, of Dorchester Road, Weymouth admitted four charges of supplying a Class A drug and two offences of an offer to supply a Class A drug and was jailed for two years.

In mitigation, Tim Shorter said Francis was 'scratching money together here, there and everywhere in order to feed his own habits’.

Judge Roger Jarvis told Francis: “You must be aware of the concern that the public has that a public house is the location for dealing in drugs, particularly when the court learns that the dealing is in Class A drugs.”

Jason Carter

JASON Carter, aged 37, has 17 convictions for 30 offences and was sentenced to 12 weeks after admitting supplying Class B drug mephedrone.
In mitigation, Anne Brown said Carter ‘understands that being addicted and under the influence of drugs does not provide an excuse as to why when the undercover officers came in to the pub he involved himself’.

Stephen John Clarke

STEPHEN Jonathan Clarke, aged 29, admitted two counts of supplying a Class B drug, one count of offering to supply a Class B drug and one count of possessing a Class B drug.

He was sentenced to a community order of 18 months – the only defendant not to face immediate imprisonment.

In mitigation, Tim Bradbury said that Clarke had been a drug addict but since being charged has moved to Bournemouth, gained full-time employment and is trying to ‘turn his life around’.

Judge Roger Jarvis told Clarke he was going to ‘take a chance’ on him because ‘society’s interest is best served by doing what one can to promote a permanent change in your lifestyle, so that you no longer abuse drugs, become hard working and don’t come before the court again’.

Connor Robert Burrows

CONNOR Robert Burrows, now aged 18, of Walker Crescent, Weymouth, played a ‘lesser role’.

The youngest defendant was jailed for two years for four counts of supplying cocaine and one count of supplying cannabis.

He admitted the charges.

Judge Jarvis said Burrows had ‘no real idea of the scale of the operation’.

Comments (14)

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7:56am Fri 3 Jan 14

Gerry S says...

It should be noted that The George has been under new management for the last 6 months, has been completely refurbished and now enjoys a totally different type of client
It should be noted that The George has been under new management for the last 6 months, has been completely refurbished and now enjoys a totally different type of client Gerry S

9:45am Fri 3 Jan 14

mixJ2O says...

More victims of the failing 'war on drugs' such a shame that most of the general public are ignorant. Break The Taboo. www.breakingthetaboo
.info
More victims of the failing 'war on drugs' such a shame that most of the general public are ignorant. Break The Taboo. www.breakingthetaboo .info mixJ2O

9:54am Fri 3 Jan 14

Caption Sensible says...

Typical negative reporting by the Echo on a Weymouth establishment. Note the date of the offences; 2012. Under the new management the place is unrecognisable to the previous regime and is now a lovely pub/restaurant.

0/10 Echo.
Typical negative reporting by the Echo on a Weymouth establishment. Note the date of the offences; 2012. Under the new management the place is unrecognisable to the previous regime and is now a lovely pub/restaurant. 0/10 Echo. Caption Sensible

10:22am Fri 3 Jan 14

Saddler says...

If alcohol was classified as a dangerous drug it would be class A. I do drink, and have never taken any illegal drugs, but I still think that there are a lot of hypocrites out there.Punishing drug users does not work, just filsl the already overcrowded prisons at our expense.
If alcohol was classified as a dangerous drug it would be class A. I do drink, and have never taken any illegal drugs, but I still think that there are a lot of hypocrites out there.Punishing drug users does not work, just filsl the already overcrowded prisons at our expense. Saddler

11:03am Fri 3 Jan 14

Angry555 says...

May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town!
May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town! Angry555

11:12am Fri 3 Jan 14

MrTomSmith says...

I think the Echo are correct in reporting it the way they have. It is clearly explained once in the header, "Former Weymouth Pub" Then again in the text it is explained that the pub has now re-opened;. How were they supposed to report it? This was a major drug bust and local men who most of us know or have seen have been sent to prison. They Echo had no choice at all but to report it this way. No choice.
It is a FAR better pub now When the new owners opened the George and Grill and they took it over knowing it's past history which was pretty bad. This will now put the record straight I would say. I just don't see how the Echo could got around this. It is a big story and we should be told the outcome, well done.;
I think the Echo are correct in reporting it the way they have. It is clearly explained once in the header, "Former Weymouth Pub" Then again in the text it is explained that the pub has now re-opened;. How were they supposed to report it? This was a major drug bust and local men who most of us know or have seen have been sent to prison. They Echo had no choice at all but to report it this way. No choice. It is a FAR better pub now When the new owners opened the George and Grill and they took it over knowing it's past history which was pretty bad. This will now put the record straight I would say. I just don't see how the Echo could got around this. It is a big story and we should be told the outcome, well done.; MrTomSmith

12:08pm Fri 3 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

Angry555 wrote:
May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town!
In Saudi Arabia, they execute drug traffickers nearly every week.
Do you know why they execute drug traffickers every week?
Because even this most extreme punishment is not a deterrent.
The war on drugs is a waste of resources. Legalise, control and tax as with alcohol. Look at what happened to the crime (and particularly murder) rate when Prohibition ended in the US. It reduce by nearly 90%.
I should state that apart from a couple of experiments with weed many years ago, i do not use drugs. I just think that the law is creating a violent criminal underclass.
[quote][p][bold]Angry555[/bold] wrote: May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town![/p][/quote]In Saudi Arabia, they execute drug traffickers nearly every week. Do you know why they execute drug traffickers every week? Because even this most extreme punishment is not a deterrent. The war on drugs is a waste of resources. Legalise, control and tax as with alcohol. Look at what happened to the crime (and particularly murder) rate when Prohibition ended in the US. It reduce by nearly 90%. I should state that apart from a couple of experiments with weed many years ago, i do not use drugs. I just think that the law is creating a violent criminal underclass. JamesYoung

12:26pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Micke12 says...

Well done to the police and the prosecutors in this case. However, it should not be seen as a victory in the war on drugs. No matter how many you take off the streets, there is always someone there ready to fill the gap. The only way to win the war on drugs is to destroy the production facilities before the drugs can be released to the citizen at large and the dealers.

As this is obviously something that governments over the world are not in a position to do, or simply don't want to do, there is no way you will prevent drugs from being produced and therefore sold to the addicts.

Alcohol, like cigarettes will never be banned as there is too much revenue to the exchequer from these products. Alcohol, by far, causes more problems than smoking, evidenced by the fact that week after week the accident and emergency departments of our hospitals are taken over by the menace of the demon drink.

I suspect that if one calculates the cost to the taxpayer of the weekend binge drinking and getting totally paralytic one would find that this costs us more per year than smoking does, taking into account the cost of police and ambulance staff commitments and the cost to the hospitals themselves, both in treatment and damages caused by drunk people and the assaults on NHS staff, from ambulance staff to doctors to nurses to general assistants. the list of people getting affected by alcohol related problems far outweighs those affected by smoking, whether you believe smoking to right or wrong, but I do not see government forcing drinkers out on to the street or covering up the display of drinks as they have done with tobacco related products. It seems to me that in a lot of ways, the political leaders and chief medical advisors to the government have got the priorities wrong. Even if we accept that smoking is bad for you, it only affects you and those close to you. Alcohol related issues not only affect those close to you,. but also the member of the public that gets assaulted by a drunk person. We all know what the effects of smoking are medically, but we also know that alcohol affects different people in different ways, so no one knows what alcohol will do from one person to the next.

We all know that drugs are bad for you, but you can bet your last pound that if the government could make revenue on the sale of drugs, they would not be so much against it, but no sensible government would dream of trying to make revenue out of drugs as it would be the death knell for that government, whatever the colour of that government.
Well done to the police and the prosecutors in this case. However, it should not be seen as a victory in the war on drugs. No matter how many you take off the streets, there is always someone there ready to fill the gap. The only way to win the war on drugs is to destroy the production facilities before the drugs can be released to the citizen at large and the dealers. As this is obviously something that governments over the world are not in a position to do, or simply don't want to do, there is no way you will prevent drugs from being produced and therefore sold to the addicts. Alcohol, like cigarettes will never be banned as there is too much revenue to the exchequer from these products. Alcohol, by far, causes more problems than smoking, evidenced by the fact that week after week the accident and emergency departments of our hospitals are taken over by the menace of the demon drink. I suspect that if one calculates the cost to the taxpayer of the weekend binge drinking and getting totally paralytic one would find that this costs us more per year than smoking does, taking into account the cost of police and ambulance staff commitments and the cost to the hospitals themselves, both in treatment and damages caused by drunk people and the assaults on NHS staff, from ambulance staff to doctors to nurses to general assistants. the list of people getting affected by alcohol related problems far outweighs those affected by smoking, whether you believe smoking to right or wrong, but I do not see government forcing drinkers out on to the street or covering up the display of drinks as they have done with tobacco related products. It seems to me that in a lot of ways, the political leaders and chief medical advisors to the government have got the priorities wrong. Even if we accept that smoking is bad for you, it only affects you and those close to you. Alcohol related issues not only affect those close to you,. but also the member of the public that gets assaulted by a drunk person. We all know what the effects of smoking are medically, but we also know that alcohol affects different people in different ways, so no one knows what alcohol will do from one person to the next. We all know that drugs are bad for you, but you can bet your last pound that if the government could make revenue on the sale of drugs, they would not be so much against it, but no sensible government would dream of trying to make revenue out of drugs as it would be the death knell for that government, whatever the colour of that government. Micke12

12:48pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Mango man says...

Caption Sensible wrote:
Typical negative reporting by the Echo on a Weymouth establishment. Note the date of the offences; 2012. Under the new management the place is unrecognisable to the previous regime and is now a lovely pub/restaurant.

0/10 Echo.
I fail to see how this story relates to the Echo reporting negatively on the pub in question.
The article explains why the information has only now been released and clearly states when the offences occurred, and the fact that the premises is now under new management.

This is called news, and the facts have been reported, 0/10 captain Sensible
[quote][p][bold]Caption Sensible[/bold] wrote: Typical negative reporting by the Echo on a Weymouth establishment. Note the date of the offences; 2012. Under the new management the place is unrecognisable to the previous regime and is now a lovely pub/restaurant. 0/10 Echo.[/p][/quote]I fail to see how this story relates to the Echo reporting negatively on the pub in question. The article explains why the information has only now been released and clearly states when the offences occurred, and the fact that the premises is now under new management. This is called news, and the facts have been reported, 0/10 captain Sensible Mango man

12:52pm Fri 3 Jan 14

mixJ2O says...

JamesYoung wrote:
Angry555 wrote:
May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town!
In Saudi Arabia, they execute drug traffickers nearly every week.
Do you know why they execute drug traffickers every week?
Because even this most extreme punishment is not a deterrent.
The war on drugs is a waste of resources. Legalise, control and tax as with alcohol. Look at what happened to the crime (and particularly murder) rate when Prohibition ended in the US. It reduce by nearly 90%.
I should state that apart from a couple of experiments with weed many years ago, i do not use drugs. I just think that the law is creating a violent criminal underclass.
Totally agree JamesYoung! It sounds like you've seen breaking the taboo, too! :)
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Angry555[/bold] wrote: May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town![/p][/quote]In Saudi Arabia, they execute drug traffickers nearly every week. Do you know why they execute drug traffickers every week? Because even this most extreme punishment is not a deterrent. The war on drugs is a waste of resources. Legalise, control and tax as with alcohol. Look at what happened to the crime (and particularly murder) rate when Prohibition ended in the US. It reduce by nearly 90%. I should state that apart from a couple of experiments with weed many years ago, i do not use drugs. I just think that the law is creating a violent criminal underclass.[/p][/quote]Totally agree JamesYoung! It sounds like you've seen breaking the taboo, too! :) mixJ2O

1:10pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Mango man says...

Angry555 wrote:
May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town!
When you've found the answer to keeping drugs out of Weymouth be sure to let all the other police forces know, I'm sure they'll be extremely greatful. Oh by the way, what would you suggest? Ridiculous comment
[quote][p][bold]Angry555[/bold] wrote: May be if the police worked harder on keeping Drug's out of Weymouth!! Blame the pub's what a joke! There's been drug's in this town since before I was born and will still be obtainable after I die!! Just open your eye's Drugs are everywhere in this lovely seaside town![/p][/quote]When you've found the answer to keeping drugs out of Weymouth be sure to let all the other police forces know, I'm sure they'll be extremely greatful. Oh by the way, what would you suggest? Ridiculous comment Mango man

5:26pm Fri 3 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

Why is the Echo censoring comments again? What I posted was actually Quoting police officers I have spoken too. Got to support the ol "agenda" eh? Nothing in my comment was neither rude or nonfactual..
Why is the Echo censoring comments again? What I posted was actually Quoting police officers I have spoken too. Got to support the ol "agenda" eh? Nothing in my comment was neither rude or nonfactual.. David_divenghy2

5:29pm Fri 3 Jan 14

David_divenghy2 says...

P.S don't tell me someone complained, you deleted that comment within seconds of it being posted, so clearly this is political manipulation by people at the echo, not complaint by the public.

No wonder your chief editor run and hide from the challenge by J4MB over your politically motivated censoring.

http://j4mb.files.wo
rdpress.com/2013/12/
131128-letter-to-the
-editor-of-the-dorse
t-echo.pdf
P.S don't tell me someone complained, you deleted that comment within seconds of it being posted, so clearly this is political manipulation by people at the echo, not complaint by the public. No wonder your chief editor run and hide from the challenge by J4MB over your politically motivated censoring. http://j4mb.files.wo rdpress.com/2013/12/ 131128-letter-to-the -editor-of-the-dorse t-echo.pdf David_divenghy2

5:50pm Fri 3 Jan 14

weymouthfox says...

i say well done to Dorset Police for catching these drug dealers. Hopefully they will have their eyes on some others! And well done the Echo for reporting the case correctly.
i say well done to Dorset Police for catching these drug dealers. Hopefully they will have their eyes on some others! And well done the Echo for reporting the case correctly. weymouthfox

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