Two Ashton men jailed after £200k drugs bust

An Ashton drug dealer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being caught with £200k worth of drugs

Richard Southward, 42, of Hurst Grove, Ashton, pleaded guilty at a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court today (25 May 2021) to two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, one count of possession with intent supply Class B drugs, two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and one count of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs.

Steven Avery, 36, of Hurst Grove, Ashton, has also pleaded guilty to two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and one count of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs. He is due for sentencing at a later day.

They were caught after police executed warrants at threee addresses in Ashton and one in Dukinfield on 12 November 2020. All four properties were either owned or rented by the two men.

The property in Dukinfield was being used to store the drugs, with just over £200,000 worth found at the address. 

In total, £76,000 worth of heroin; £63,000 of crack cocaine; £57,000 worth of cocaine and £25,000 worth of amphetamine were recovered.

Both men were arrested and subsequently charged with a range of drug offences.

Detective Constable Jake Orr, of GMP's Tameside Challenger Team, said: "The sentence handed to Southward today is another significant result in helping to disrupt the trade and distribution of drugs in the Ashton area. I hope it also serves as a stark reminder that GMP is continually investigating the drugs chain across Greater Manchester and will pursue all those who seek to profit from this type of criminality.

"Drugs are destructive and cast a dark shadow across entire communities. Both Southward and Avery were deeply engrained into the supply chain and reaping the rewards so I'm pleased that we've been able to secure a significant conviction for Southward and remove him from our streets."

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