Rainworth car dealership used as 'front' for international drug network

Several men have been jailed after a car dealership in Rainworth was used to run a nationwide drugs network.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:07 pm
Southwell Motor Gru in Rainwprth was used as a 'front' for an elaborate operation to convert vehicles into border-crossing drug mauls. The site is now occupied by Dan Moto Group. (Image: Google Maps)

Described as part of the 'UK arm' of the international ring, Southwell Motor Group in Southwell Road was used to fit cars with secret compartments to hide drugs, and move around large amounts of cocaine, amphetamine and cash.

Vehicles were rebuilt at the garage to install the compartments with sophisticated locking mechanisms whichcould only be seen by X-Ray, reported the BBC.

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Christopher Turton and Dale Wright ran the dealership as a front, which was uncovered as part of a global investigation into a suspected crime boss.

Turton - who is from Clipstone - has been jailed for ten years. Wright - from Mansfield - received six years and eight months. Several accomplices have also been jailed, or given suspended sentences.

The front gave them an easy way to deliver drugs around the country, using the adapted vehicles move large amounts of cocaine and amphetamine, and cash that was laundered overseas.

Christopher Turton, 31, of Squires Lane, Kings Clipstone was charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to supply class B drugs and money laundering, as are Dale Wright, 40, of Orchard Street, Mansfield, and William Hollingworth-Marriott, 19, of Ash Grove, Sutton.

Darryl Ballantine, 51, of Taylor Crescent, Sutton is charged with conspiracy to supply class B drugs and money laundering. Robert Durrant, also 51, of Jephson Road, Sutton is charged with money laundering.

All five appeared at Burton-on-Trent Magistrates’ Court on Friday, February 13 after being arrested by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) and Nottinghamshire Police as part of a major investigation by EMSOU and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The site of Southwell Motor Group is now occupied by Dan Motors - there is no suggestion that the two businesses are in any way linked.