Manchester

Salford cannabis dealer recruited his own mother to help run gang

Ryan Ratcliffe Image copyright GMP
Image caption Ryan Ratcliffe recruited his own mother to help run the drugs operation

An inmate who used his own mother on the outside to help run a £700,000 drugs ring has been sent back to jail.

Ryan Ratcliffe, 28, of Salford, used a telephone at HMP Magilligan in Northern Ireland to organise the cultivation and supply of 220 lb (100kg) of cannabis.

He was jailed for seven years and four months at Manchester Crown Court.

His mother Marie Ratcliffe, 46, paid fellow members of the gang and rent for a property used as a cannabis farm. She was given four years and two months.

Ryan Ratcliffe ran the operation with his fellow inmate Ben Harding, 27, of Bennett Drive, Salford.

Harding was handed seven years and two months in prison.

Ratcliffe's uncle, 49-year-old Stephen Ratcliffe, of St Brelades Drive, Salford was jailed for four years and eight months,

All pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis.

The operation was uncovered after police were called to a disturbance in Crab Lane, Blackley on 27 July 2017.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Marie Ratcliffe, of Acer Grove, Salford paid fellow drug gang members on behalf of her son

Greater Manchester Police found 61 cannabis plants and discovered Ratcliffe had instructed an associate, Joshua Williams, 28, to run the farm.

Williams, of Milan Street, Salford was jailed for six years after he admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis, conspiracy to produce cannabis, possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and possession of amphetamine with intent to supply.

Ben Pickles, 27, of Argyle Street, Heywood was jailed for five years and two months.

Amanda McCurdy, 45, of New Devonshire Square, Salford was sentenced to four years and four months.

They admitted conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Ben Harding ran the operation from inside prison with Ryan Ratcliffe

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