Four defendants were convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin, following a 7 week trial at Bolton Crown Court. The defendants had been producing adulterant, made up of paracetamol, caffeine and food colouring, with the intention for it to be used as a cutting agent for heroin. 375 kilograms of adulterant were seized in total from an industrial unit in Wigan. This operation would have produced multi-million pound profits had it been successful. One of the defendants had also set up a similar operation in the garage at his home address.
The defendants denied the charges at trial, putting forward a variety of explanations for their links to the industrial unit and the powder that was being produced there. Two of the defendants claimed that they had been told lies by the other two defendants, and had been told that the unit was going to be used to run a bio-fuel business. The other two defendants claimed the powder was to be used to manufacture a sports drink. The jury rejected these explanations and convicted all four defendants.
The defendants were sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison. Neil Fryman and Isobel Thomas were instructed to prosecute this matter by Mark Andrews and Katherine Lord of the CPS.