Met detectives have dismantled a drugs gang made up of semi-pro footballers who conspired to supply cocaine with an estimated street value of £208 – £260m.

The group were sentenced to over 104 years in total at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 17 May having all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to supply controlled class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply controlled class B drugs (ketamine).

They are –

Adam Pepara, 35 (24.08.88), of Wharf Lane, Solihull – jailed for 29 years reduced to 24 years

Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, 29 (19.04.95), of Delgarno Gardens, North Kensington – jailed for 26 years and six months reduced to 18 years and nine months

Jamarl Joseph, 28 (12.07.95), of Lily Gardens, Wembley – jailed for 26 years and six months reduced to 17 years and six months

Andrew Harewood, 34 (05.07.89), of Woodhurst Road, North Acton – jailed for 24 years and six months reduced to 16 years and one month

Melchi Emanuel-Williamson, 29 (17.09.94), of Wesley Avenue, North Acton – jailed for 21 years and six months reduced to 14 years

Luke Skeete, 36 (25.02.88), of Evergreen Drive, West Drayton – jailed for 22 years and six months reduced to 13 years and one month

Police Constable Perry, from Specialist Crime North, said: “The operation we’ve dismantled here is not some minor undertaking, involving a group of chancers – this is a highly organised criminal group who were supplying drugs on an industrial scale throughout the UK.

“The sentences received reflect the gravity of what they had been doing. This is a criminal group who had otherwise promising careers – semi-pro footballers with other jobs and courses they were undertaking – but they were motivated by making money from drugs that fuel misery and violence on our streets.

“Anyone else wondering if they can make cash from this type of activity should take a look at these sentences and think again, because it’s only a matter of time before you are caught.”

Detective Constable Janes, from Specialist Crime North, said: “With Skeete’s arrest we brought this house of cards down.

“After he was detained we secured valuable evidence on his mobile phone, helping us launch another investigation that led to us identifying his conspirators.

“Forensic examination of that device and invaluable CCTV evidence helped us compile a case so compelling that none of them had any choice but to plead guilty.”

Skeete had previously been jailed for 15 years at the same court in July 2023 having pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs (cocaine), possession with intent to supply class B drugs (ketamine), supplying cocaine, and driving while disqualified.

He had been stopped by police in October 2022 as he drove a small panel van. When officers searched it they found 8kg of cocaine in the rear of the vehicle.

A video recovered from a car involved in a deal showed Skeete parking up in his white van and passing over a holdall of drugs.

Skeete was arrested and a further 123kg of cocaine and 224kg of ketamine was recovered from storage units in west London he had control of.

During the course of this investigation Skeete’s phone was seized and sent for specialist interrogation.

On it officers found a secure messaging platform and began examining the users.

They found each had an individual handle to conceal their true identities and evade police, but after painstaking work they were identified.

The group chats demonstrated and evidenced a sophisticated, professional business model the group were operating to supply cocaine through the UK.

Detectives spent countless hours examining CCTV which showed the gang coming and going from the storage unit with drugs concealed in holdalls and boxes.

It was found that between 10 April 2022 and 20 October 2022, they had all conspired to supply in excess of 2.7tonnes of high grade cocaine with an estimated street value of £208,160,000 to £260,200,000.

On 28 September 2023, Specialist Crime officers carried out arrest warrants at addresses linked to the group in London and Birmingham

All of the individuals in question were located arrested, charged and remanded in custody.

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