‘Leader’ of organised crime gang gets seven years and three months
Three men – who made up part of an organised crime gang which trafficked more than £171,000 of cannabis to the Isle of Man – have been jailed.
The ‘leader’ Garry Paul Dentith was sentenced to seven years and three months today (20 January) after his fingerprints, handwriting and mobile phone data, connected him to multiple criminal cases.
The 41-year-old, of Princes Street in Douglas, had previously admitted seven offences including being unlawfully concerned in the production of cannabis between December 2021 and October 2022.
He’d also pleaded guilty to being unlawfully concerned in the supply of the drug, on or before 24 September, and five money laundering offences which concerned the handling of criminal cash.
During sentencing, at Douglas Courthouse, the court heard how Dentith had been investigated as part of ‘Operation Artemis’ which had seen police arrest individuals at the Sea Terminal in 2022.
Officers had seized more than £167,000, in February, March and September, after stopping foot passengers and vehicles; on each occasion forensic work linked Dentith to those arrested.
On 23 September his co-accused Sam Kenneth Leigh, of Worsborough in Barnsley, travelled to the Isle of Man; he was observed meeting up with Dentith and a third man Andrew David McGill.
Two days later 31-year-old Leigh was stopped at the port preparing to travel to Liverpool – a search of his vehicle recovered almost £50,000, hidden under a passenger seat, as well as an empty ‘hide’.
He later admitted to producing cannabis to the Isle of Man, being concerned in the supply of it and attempting to remove criminal property.
Dentith was arrested in October – when officers searched his property they found a large quantity of cash in the attic as well as drug dealing paraphernalia and mobile phones.
A search of McGill’s home, on Brunswick Road in Douglas, saw officers recover 8.5 kilograms of cannabis along with scales, ticklists and vacuum packaging material.
The 56-year-old cooperated with police telling them who had been involved in the operation and later admitted to being concerned in the supply of cannabis and possession with intent to supply.
‘The Mule’, ‘The Gamer’ and ‘The Leader’
Prosecutor James Robinson told the sentencing hearing that the prosecution accepted Leigh had been ‘a mule’ but said he had ‘clearly known’ why he was travelling to the Isle of Man.
Leigh’s advocate told the court his client had been in financial difficulty and was attempting to repay money he owed adding: “Donkeys, mules – what can be said is my client’s been an ass!
“He makes a stupid decision to bring over a car that he’s provided with and, well, we know the rest.
“His own actions have resulted in him being separated from his partner and very young baby,” he added: “He should have thought twice before doing what he did.”
McGill’s advocate described his client as a ‘gamer living a hermit lifestyle’ adding: “He’s possibly one of the last people you’d expect to be involved in this type of offending.”
Noting that McGill had received £300 for his part in the operation the advocate added that it was ‘quite sad’ that he’d lost so much for so little.
Dentith was described as playing the ‘leading role’ in the group with the prosecutor telling the court: “He’s effectively high up in the chain in the Isle of Man and controlling those below him.”
Dentith’s advocate said his client was ‘extremely remorseful’ and that his mother would no longer speak to him adding: “He’s not someone who’s benefitted in an extreme way.”
Jailing Dentith for the longest period Deemster Graeme Cook told him it was clear that he was the leader: “You played a leading role and you must have strong connections, in my judgement, with organised crime in Liverpool,” he added.
Describing Leigh as becoming involved ‘foolishly’ he sentenced him to 32 months in custody.
McGill was jailed for 30 months with Deemster Cook telling him: “Frankly you should have known better.”