Derbyshire drugs gang jailed for more than 17 years

L-R - Merrick Rhoomes, Dawn Eaton and Kirsty Baxter.
L-R - Merrick Rhoomes, Dawn Eaton and Kirsty Baxter.

A Derbyshire-based drugs gang has been jailed for more than 17 years in total for conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

The sentences are the result of a large-scale police operation to disrupt the supply of drugs in Ripley and Heanor, which saw warrants executed at four houses in the towns in the autumn of 2015 and a large amount of drugs and cash recovered.

L-R Joseph Watkinson and Damon Watkinson

L-R Joseph Watkinson and Damon Watkinson

Merrick Rhoomes has been sentenced to six years in prison; Kirsty Baxter was jailed for 44 months and Dawn Eaton received 40 months. Brothers Joseph Watkinson ,33, of Walker Avenue, Ripley, and Damon Watkinson, ,27, of Duke Street, Ilkeston, were given 27-month terms.

The police investigation alleged that Rhoomes, 29, of Newmarket Road, Bulwell, was the leader of the conspiracy and would supply drugs to Baxter, Eaton and Weaver, who operated as street dealers.

The Watkinson brothers assisted Baxter, 29, of Empire Court, Fletchers Street, Heanor, by supplying drugs and making their house in Rowan Avenue, Ripley, available as a place for dealing drugs from.

Officers raided houses at Rowan Avenue, Ripley and Mundy Street, High Street and Loscoe Road, Heanor.

All five were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, March 16. They all admitted conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin while Eaton, 42, of Burnt House Road, Heanor, admitted further charges of being concerned in the supply of crack and heroin.

Another man, 38, has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the conspiracy and will be sentenced at the end of the month.