Five jailed after nine month manhunt - The Solihull Observer

Five jailed after nine month manhunt

Solihull Editorial 20th Mar, 2024   0

A SHIRLEY man has been charged for conspiracy to supply cocaine after a nine month manhunt.

Detectives from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU) have uncovered a wholesale drug supply ring, with those involved jailed for a combined total of more than 40 years.

Ringleader Joshua Poulton distributed hundreds of kilos of cocaine across the West Midlands and the main supplier in Acocks Green and Shirley.

In November 2021, officers moved in to arrest him as he drove on Coventry Road, Small Heath, but the 29-year-old from Louise Court, Shirley made off and abandoned his vehicle.

An international manhunt was launched as Poulton moved from the United Arab Emirates to South America, Portugal and finally Spain where he was detained by Spanish authorities at a road block in Estepona in August 2022.

In July 2023 Poulton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine at Birmingham Crown Court and was jailed on March 15 for 15 years and six months.

During the investigation, 37-year-old Ashleigh Emery, from Station Road in Lapworth, was identified as Poulton’s right-hand man.

Seeing a number of his associates arrested, Emery fled to Dubai before he could be detained.

But in September last year, Emery returned to the UK and handed himself in he was jailed for 12 years.

Three further accomplices were sentenced for conspiracy to supply cocaine alongside Poulton and Emery, having been arrested in Autumn 2022.

Keith Kirby, aged 37 from The Green, Northfield, was jailed for 11 years and six months. Jack Emery, aged 32, from Buckbury Croft, Solihull received six years and Shaun O’Keefe, aged 38, from Cateswell Road, Hall Green, got four years and five months.

Detective Constable Lewis Poppitt, from WMROCU, said: “This was a complex investigation which has already seen nine other accomplices jailed for more than 59 years over the past 15 months.

“We have seized more than 15 kilos of cocaine and £100,000 pounds in cash through their ill-gotten gains.

“Detailed phone analysis has helped secure convictions for these five and I am pleased they have received lengthy sentences.”



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