Members of a gang who sold large quantities of heroin and cocaine in Sheffield have appeared in court.
Ten defendants, out of a total of 12, from the drug-dealing ring appeared in court to be sentenced for a range of drugs and firearms offences.
Sheffield Crown Court heard yesterday that the gang was a ‘family-run business’ involving three generations, partners and family members.
The court heard that Joe Brent Mitchell, aged 29, headed up the criminal group, which was based and operated from Parson Cross and Southey Green in Sheffield.
The gang sold large amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in the area and used the threat of firearms to assert their dominance over rival dealers, the court heard.
The 12 defendants, who all pleaded guilty ahead of trial, are to appear in court for numerous hearings over the next few weeks and will receive their sentences on June 29.
Opening the sentencing hearing, David Brooke, prosecuting, said Mitchell was ‘plainly the controlling mind’ of the operation.
He described Mitchell as an ‘aggressive man’ and said he had a number of previous convictions including violence, firearms, and possessing a shotgun with intent.
Mr Brooke said: “He was aggressive man who was determined to continue with his criminality with little regard to anyone else.
“He was frequently abusive to his subordinates and family.”
Mr Brooke told the court that a detective constable for South Yorkshire Police described the drug-dealing operation as ‘one of the most organised’ he had ever come across in his career.
Reading a statement from DC Bower, Mr Brooke said the gang was ‘well organised, profitable and established in the Parson Cross area of Sheffield’.
“It is a family run business with the involvement of three generations, partners and associated family members,” he said.
DC Bower’s statement described Mitchell as ‘pivotal’ to the organisation, presiding over the area he dealt drugs in through ‘fear and reputation’.
The court heard Mitchell was arrested in December 2013 at his girlfriend’s house in Barrie Crescent, Parson Cross. He was carrying 64 wraps of cocaine.
Once remanded in custody, the court heard Mitchell made 1,200 calls from jail – which were monitored – and 236 of them were of a incriminating nature.
The court heard Mitchell continued to run his drug dealing business from behind bars. Levi Sendel, 21, was described in court as the ‘key lieutenant’ in charge of selling drugs during this time.