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Two Tameside gangsters sentenced after cops find 1kg of cocaine in the kitchen

After an investigation that lasted more than four years, the remaining three members of an organised crime group have been sentenced for the part they played in supplying and dealing class A drugs.

Paul Cooper, 43, of Auburn Road in Hyde was sentenced to 7 and a half years and Charles Ebbreal, also 43, of Hopkinson Avenue in Denton was sentenced to 6 years and 9 months.

Ebbrell failed to appear in court to hear the judge sentence him to 6 years 9 months in jail. He is now a wanted man after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Two other members of the group were already sentenced in 2020 - Ryan Ridgway received 6 years after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and Anton Nash received 15 years after pleading guilty to possession of ammunition, possession of a handgun, supplying class A cocaine and money laundering.

The investigation launched by Stockport’s Challenger team in January 2020 started when officers visited Ryan Ridgway at his home address in Disley, Cheshire and arrested him on suspicion of possession of class A drugs with the intent to supply. Officers seized 1kg of cocaine, which was found in his kitchen, worth an estimated £100,000 on the street.

Paul Cooper and Charles Ebbrell, who were also present at the address were also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.

The Stockport Challenger team continued to make enquiries into the group’s movements and though ANPR, CCTV and phone work found out Cooper and Ebbrell travelled to a KFC in Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, in Ridgway’s Audi A3 earlier that day.

At KFC, they met with Nash where he supplied them with the 1kg block of cocaine.

This deal was facilitated on the phone by Duggan who acted as a middleman between Ridgway, Ebbrell, Cooper and Nash.

Following the drug deal, Cooper and Ebbrell returned to Ridgway’s flat and arrived back moments before the police unexpectedly turned up with Nash returning to the Birmingham area.

On 18 June 2020, Ryan Ridgway was sentenced to 6 years in prison, after pleading guilty to Possession with intent to supply cocaine.

In June 2020, officers from Stockport Challenger executed a search warrant at Anton Nash’s home address in Halesowen with assistance from officers from the West Midlands police and subsequently arrested him suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A, money laundering and possession of a firearm.

Following a thorough the search of his home, a loaded gun and £378,180.71 in cash were located by officers.

A simultaneous warrant was also executed at the same time at an address in Gotham, Nottingham, and Duggan was arrested with the assistance of Nottinghamshire constabulary.

Both Nash and Duggan provided no comment answers to detective’s questions.

On 31 March 2023, Anton Nash pleaded guilty at Minshull Street Crown Court to all matters and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Following his release from custody in February 2020, Paul Cooper fled the UK to avoid prosecution.

Detective Constable McCarthy tracked Cooper across Ireland, Spain and Portugal and eventually located him in Paramaribo, Suriname, South America and with the assistance of the National Crime Agency and Suriname authorities, Cooper was arrested on 6 June 2023. He was found to be in possession of cannabis and firearms upon his arrest.

Cooper attempted to mislead the authorities by claiming that he was a Ukrainian refugee called Roman Petrov but was subsequently deported back to the UK on 13 December 2023 where he was charged and remanded into custody awaiting trial.

Detective Sergeant Leanne Banks, of Stockport’s Challenger team, said: “The sentencing that the three men received at court is satisfying news for the investigation team. As a unit, we have worked tirelessly investigating this group’s involvement in the supply of drugs, not only in Manchester but across the country.

“All of the men in this group had a complete disregard for the law and their illegitimate enterprise was fuelled by their own greed.

“We hope that the public can see that we remain committed to removing dangerous individuals like Ebbrell, Duggan and Cooper from our streets which will undoubtedly make Greater Manchester a safer place.

“The seriousness of these crimes should not be underestimated, the amount of drugs they were transporting and supplying are substantial.

“We will always listen to our communities' concerns surrounding drug dealing and need your information and intelligence to help us put dangerous criminals behind bars and any issues that are fed to us can sometimes hugely assist our on-going investigations.”

Anyone with information or concerns should report to police online, if able, at www.gmp.police.uk or via 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

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