Almost a century in jail for £50m drug gang

    A GANG which produced ‘industrial quantities’ of cannabis throughout Kent were jailed for a combined total of 90 years on Thursday [July 27].

    A haul of 16,428 cannabis plants, with an estimated street value of up to £51,852,840, was seized from seven Kent factories, and one in Norfolk, in one of the largest criminal enterprises of this type to be foiled.

    The huge police crackdown on the gang began in 2013. It resulted in 15 people, aged 18 to 69, admitting their roles in the conspiracy, or being convicted at the Old Bailey by Judge Anuja Dhir, QC.

    Among them were Michael Edward Corcoran, 51, of Yalding, who was described by the judge as ‘the mastermind’ behind the operation. He was jailed for 14 years on seven counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and fi ve counts of abstracting electricity.

    Stephen Macey, 25, of Paddock Wood, also admitted five counts of conspiring to produce cannabis and five counts of abstracting electricity, and received six years’ jail.

    The other convinced individuals came from Margate and Gillingham in Kent; Purfleet in Essex; Camberwell, Thamesmead, Peckham, Walworth and Abbey Wood in South East London; Bromley in South London and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.