Police sold drugs to dealer.

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Law & Disorder

Three Merseyside police officers were jailed for selling drugs seized on raids to a dealer.

Sgt Darren Burns, 32, and PC Andrew Bird, 34, must serve four years each for their part in the £77,000 plot. PC Clive French, 33, was jailed for six years. Their dealer John Brennan was handed only a three-year term which doesn’t seem a lot when he deals in death.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that last year the three officers were involved in Merseyside Police’s drug dealing crackdown Operation Hawk. On April 22, 2009, police raided a house in Whitman Street, Wavertree, and found two cannabis farms being cultivated in the upstairs bedrooms.

IlieThe police policy is to keep two or three of the plants for evidential reasons and get rid of the rest of the crop. It was to be bagged up and taken to St Anne Street police station where it was supposed to be dumped in a skip before being destroyed.

The court was told PC Colin White – who strangely was cleared by a jury of being involved in the plan – took five stuffed bin-bags from the house in a white Transit van. But instead of heading to St Anne Street he drove to Litherland, where he met Bird, French and Burns who were off duty that day. They then drove in convoy to Bird’s home in Whitewood Park, Fazakerley, where the heads of the plants were harvested.

Brennan, 46, of Orrell Lane, Walton, was a friend of Bird’s and the drugs, worth around £45,000 on the street, were later dropped at his home. The officers were paid £500 each.

Kevin Donnelly, prosecuting, told the court that on May 9, Burns and French raided a property in Maud Street, Toxteth, after a tip-off there was a cannabis farm inside. They ignored intelligence the address was linked to gun crime and went in anyway – but only found a small amount of the drug. It was, Mr Donnelly said, an example of them “seeking to find cannabis they could use for their own purpose”.

Then on May 15 Burns was tasked with checking out a tip-off about another cannabis farm at a house in Shrewton Road, Belle Vale. Inside were six bin-bags worth with a street value of around £32,000. He and French carried out the raid alone before they were joined by Bird – who was off-duty at the time but was called by the others. Hope he didn’t claim overtime for these criminal dealings. Burns left the house with the drugs in an unmarked police Vauxhall Astra and drove straight to Brennan’s.

As the drugs were being unloaded, officers from the Professional Standards Department pounced having watched everything unfold. They trapped them using mobile phone evidence and the trackers in the force cars they used.

Bird, a former undercover specialist and Burns, of Ash Street, Southport, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class B drugs.

French, of Lexton Drive, Southport, and Brennan were convicted after a trial. Both still maintained their innocence. Judge John Roberts told the former officers they had “soiled the good name of Merseyside Police” and “exploited your position and dealt in cannabis for your own commercial ends”.

Talking about bad police

IlieA police officer is due to appear in court in Kent after an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Metropolitan officer PC Nigel Brown, 46, from the MPS’s Specialist Crime Directorate, is due to appear to face a charge of death by dangerous driving at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, March 16.

The charge relates to a road traffic incident on May 5, 2009 on the A21 Pembury Road, Tonbridge, in ghich Felicity Austin, 29, of The Paddock, Hadlow, was killed.

The MPS car driven by the officer was on operational duties in Kent at the time of the incident. Felicity Austin was the only person in the car at the time of the head on collision.The IPCC managed an investigation by Kent Police.

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