Members of an organised crime group who sent heroin from Liverpool to Cornwall by post have been sentenced at Truro Crown Court.

The group were sentenced to a total of 47 years by Judge Simon Carr for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

  • Shaun Quinn, 37, of Greenhill Road, Allerton has been sentenced to 12 years.
  • Daniel Bridson, 46, Round Hey, Stockbridge Village has been sentenced to eight.
  • Daniel Stanton, 34, of Finch Meadow Close, Fazakerley has been sentenced to nine years.
  • Simon Mitchell, 34, of Lower Fore Street, Saltash, has been sentenced to 10 years.
  • John Arnaud, 52, of Wentworth Way, Saltash, has been sentenced to eight years.

Quinn and Bridson were also sentenced for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs as part of their sentences. 

The court heard that the group sent the drugs by post into call, returning the money back to Liverpool the same way. 

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson explained: “The group used the Royal Mail Parcel Service to transport drugs into Cornwall and then send their illegal earnings back to Liverpool. By employing this tactic they were able to avoid the repeated courier journeys that we usually see as a key feature of County Lines drug dealing into the region.

“Between August 2021 and July 2023, a total of 45 parcels were received into Devon & Cornwall, amounting to drugs with a combined weight of 47.7kg.

"This number of transactions, and the volume of drugs being transported, clearly indicates the level of demand for drugs in Cornwall that was being met by the group. It also shows the scale of the illegal income they would have received – around £4m over the two-year period.

“Following the arrest of Shaun Quinn, two drugs presses and a substantial amount of cocaine was seized, so it is clear that a significant cocaine dealing enterprise has also been disrupted.

Falmouth Packet: Some of the drugs seizedSome of the drugs seized (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

“Drug-related crime is corrosive – it damages not only those involved in buying and selling, but also the communities in which they carry out their trade. The CPS is committed to working with the police to disrupt the supply of drugs by bringing those involved to justice and ensuring they do not profit from their criminality.”

The group were arrested on Thursday, July 6 last year, when warrants were simultaneously carried out in East Cornwall and Liverpool by police. The men were arrested and taken into police custody where they were later charged and remanded into custody.

The men pleaded guilty to the offences and were sentenced by the judge on Friday (March 1).

Prior to the warrants being carried out, officers had been gathering intelligence and information about the group’s activities. This included capturing them on CCTV posting parcels and monitoring where these were being sent to.

Falmouth Packet: What police found after the warrantWhat police found after the warrant (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

As police forced entry on the property in Liverpool where Stanton and Quinn were present, they ran out the back door and threw items over the fence in an attempt to discard them. This was captured by police on camera and the items were able to be recovered, including approximately 1kg of heroin and a parcel containing a large quantity of cash [pictured].

Clothing, drugs, cash and other paraphernalia was also found at the other addresses that were searched, further linking the group to the activities and to each other.

An expert witness in the case estimated that the group trafficked in the region of 47kg of heroin into Cornwall in 45 parcels. Between August 2021 and July 2023, estimated profits of up to £4million were sent back to Liverpool.

Falmouth Packet: More drugs seizedMore drugs seized (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Jolliff said: ‘Operation Modular was a joint operation with Merseyside Police, led by the Cornwall Proactive team to tackle drug supply within East Cornwall.

"This was a lengthy investigation which concluded with a day of action on Thursday, July 6 2023, where in excess of 50 colleagues from both forces combined to carry out simultaneous search warrants in Cornwall and Liverpool.

“This operation has disrupted very significant amounts of class A drugs from arriving into our communities and I’m grateful for the collaboration between both forces to combat this organised crime group.

"The sentences imposed reflect the seriousness of their criminality and should assist in discouraging others from conducting similar activity.”

Falmouth Packet: Money seizedMoney seized (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

Detective Sergeant Gerard Farley from Merseyside Police said: “Officers from Project Medusa – Merseyside’s initiative to tackle county lines drug dealing and criminal exploitation, continue to work alongside colleagues from Devon and Cornwall to close county lines and safeguard vulnerable individuals from the grip of toxic gangs.

“Friday’s sentencing shows the success of working together with other forces to take suspected county lines offenders off our streets.

“Our work to catch these criminals and bring them to justice continues on a daily basis and I would ask anyone who has information about this kind of activity to come forward so action can be taken.”

Information about suspected illegal activity can be reported to police online or by calling 101.

You can also report anonymously to CrimeStoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111.