Six charged after police probe into organized crime in Hastings

SIX people have been charged following a police operation targeting organized crime, including the alleged supply of illegal substances to prisons.

Officers executed warrants at five separate addresses as part of an investigation to disrupt individuals suspected of involvement in drug trafficking and local organized crime.

Those charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis were Brian Hall, 77, of Southdown Avenue; Phil Geoghan, 44, of Earl Street; Michaela Dowling, 28, of Normandy Road, and Kerrie Leigh, 36, of Clement Hill Road, all in Hastings.

Grant Searle, 30, of no fixed address, was also charged with the same offence, as well as receiving stolen property and possession of items for fraudulent purposes.

Leigh and Dowling were also charged with receiving stolen property.

Dowling was also charged with transporting an item to jail, possession of an item for the purpose of fraud, and fraud by false representation.

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Dowling and Hall appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Friday, the others appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Hall, Geoghan, Dowling, Searle and Leigh were sent to trial at Lewes Crown Court, with a plea and pre-trial hearing set for May 20. Searle was remanded in custody, the others are out on bail.

Detective Inspector Gavin Patch said: ‘The execution of these five warrants and the subsequent arrests are the culmination of a protracted investigation in East Sussex aimed at disrupting local organized criminals who are believed to be working together to provide drugs, stealing vehicles, laundering money and allowing the supply of illicit substances to prisons.

“Several teams within Sussex Police have come together for this investigation including the East Sussex Community Investigation Team, Project Adder, Intelligence and Neighborhood Policing.

“I would also like to thank our partners in the Crown and Corrections Service for their support in enabling us to obtain and review a significant amount of evidence.

“By disrupting criminal operations, we aim to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, prevent criminals from profiting from their activities, and protect vulnerable people within our community.”

Meanwhile, Yasmin West, 22, of Streatfield Road, Heathfield, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, perverting the course of justice and possessing criminal property. She was given a community order of 12 months and 60 hours of unpaid work

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