TWO men are to spend a total of 35 years in prison for their roles in a £61.5 million drug plot operated out of an industrial estate in Oldham.

Connor Jackson-Westwood, 25, of Bamford Street in Royton and Ashley Dissington, 35, of Helvellyn Drive in Middleton were sentenced to 15 years and 20 years.

Jackson-Westwood was sentenced in October after admitting to involvement in the importation of cocaine and heroin and to the possession of a prohibited weapon.

While Dissington – who used the alias 'DizzieRascal' on a clandestine communications network called EncroChat – was sentenced on Thursday after admitting to involvement in the importation of cocaine and heroin, conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin and to the possession of a blade in a public place.

At sentencing, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how the events leading up to the pair's arrest started with a package from Belgium intercepted in October 2020.

The UK Border Force opened the package to find 15 kilograms of class A drugs including cocaine and diamorphine worth around £1.5 million.

After receiving the package, detectives made the decision to allow it to continue to its destination At Wheatfield Industrial Estate in Royton, although with the drugs removed.

They were staking out the industrial estate a number of days later when Jackson-Westwood and Dissington arrived.

The Oldham Times: The total street value of the deliveries was £61.5m.The total street value of the deliveries was £61.5m.

Jackson-Westwood collected the package and left on foot, while Dissington drove off in what was described by the prosecutor David James as 'an anti-surveillance technique'.

The pair met up at a 'pre-arranged pick-up point' a short time afterwards to go to Royton Park and open the package.

It was then the police swept in to arrest them.

After an investigation, detectives identified another 16 deliveries from Belgium to Wheatfield Industrial Estate between June 2020 and October 2020, totalling 578.5 kilograms.

Judge John Potter said it was reasonable to assume a total wholesale value of up to £19.5 million and a total street value of up to £61.5 million.

Detective Sergeant Alex Brown, of GMP Oldham's Challenger Team, said: "This sentencing is a fantastic result not only for the Challenger Team, but also for our communities who are affected by the drug trade.

"We work tirelessly to make sure these people are brought to justice and will continue to do so. I would urge any members of the public with information on the supply of drugs in their local area to please get in touch with police as we need your help to uncover those involved in this type of crime".