We joined forces with our colleagues in Bedfordshire to help make sure a gang who led us on a 20 mile car chase - after stealing the contents of a Cannabis factory - will spend this Christmas behind bars.
Bedfordshire Police had been investigating the group known as the Kempston Block gang. They had been smuggling drugs into prison via Luton Crown Court by hollowing out their shoes and filling them with cannabis and tobacco.
This was then transferred to their fellow defendants, who had been remanded in custody while the gang was on trial for a series of serious violence.
Last week, members of the same gang were sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison after we linked them to an aggravated burglary in February 2018.
An investigation into the aggravated burglary at an address on Glanton Road, North Shields led us to two vehicles which- once approached by police - tried to flee the scene.
During the police pursuit, one of the vehicles rammed a police car on multiple occasions before being brought to a stop by officers who then arrested those involved.
The five men arrested had travelled up from Bedford to North Tyneside with the intention of stealing drugs from a local cannabis farm.
Sanjay Clouden, 21, was found to be the driver of the Vauxhall Mokka, which had rammed the police car, while Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, 23, was in the front seat passenger and Brandon Mutombo, 18, in the back seat.
In the boot, officers discovered cannabis with a potential value of around £35,000.
Northumbria officers also arrested Antonio Ziu, 23, who was driving the second car, a black BMW, and Ellis Drummond, 28.
Drummond was found in possession of a 28cm leather sheath for a knife.
Further searches of the car recovered a toolbox containing two knives, one of which was a serrated hunting knife around 25cm in length, which matched the sheath recovered from Drummond.
Four of the five men pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to supply cannabis, while Drummond was found guilty of the same offence at trial.
Kingswell-Shaw and Drummond were last week found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and two counts of possession of a knife.
Ziu and Clouden were found guilty of the same offences at the earlier trial, while Clouden also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Mutombo pleaded guilty to the two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
On Friday, December 6, all five men were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court and received a total of 24 years behind bars for their crimes.
Detective Constable Chris Forster, one of the leading officers from Northumbria Police, said: “This investigation demonstrates the lengths officers will go to ensure communities remain safe and drug free. I want to stress that the fight against drugs doesn’t end at our borders and we will work alongside other forces to bring violent and dangerous offenders before the courts.
“This is now a large drug farm taken out of circulation and organised criminal activity disrupted and our officers will continue to proactively target suspects and safeguard communities.
“These men have mistakenly believed they could move across the country and carry out criminal activities as they please- a mistake that now sees them facing a lengthy term behind bars.”
Vincent Kingswell-Shaw, 23, of no fixed address – conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary; two counts of possession of a bladed article, and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. Sentence – six years custodial to run concurrently with his existing 16 year sentence for previous gang offences in Bedford.
Ellis Drummond, 28, of no fixed address - conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary; two counts of possession of a bladed article, and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. Sentence - Five years custodial, which will run concurrently with his existing sentence for county lines drug offences in Oxfordshire
Antonio Ziu, 23, of no fixed address - conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary; two counts of possession of a bladed article, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs and being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin. Sentence - Five years custodial which will run concurrently with his existing 19 year sentence for previous gang offences in Bedford
Sanjay Clouden, 21, of no fixed address - conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary; two counts of possession of a bladed article; conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, and dangerous driving. Sentence - eight years custodial
Brandon Mutumbo, 18, of Downfield Way, Kempston - two counts of possession of a bladed article, and conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. Sentence –eighteen months suspended for two years.