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Barnsley Businessman In Court Over £25m Drug Scandal

Friday April 26 2013

Stead in court Stead in court

A BUSINESSMAN was 'a wholesale dealer' for a highly sophisticated drug-trafficking gang that flooded the north with drugs worth more than £25m.

Richard Stead, who owned part of the company that leased town centre pubs and clubs Retro, Chambers, Igloo and Voudou, is on trial at Sheffield Crown Court and denies two counts of conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs between June 1, 2010 and August 17, 2012.

After his bars were raided last August, they have since been taken over and are now run by different people.

Prosecutor, David Brooke, said Stead, 45, of Stairfoot, was 'high up the chain' in the criminal outfit.

Mr Brooke alleges Stead brought kilos of cocaine, MCat and Class B drugs into South Yorkshire.

He said conversations recorded by the police during covert surveillance show Stead talking about selling cocaine, MCat and cannabis, and the prosecution say he was also recorded speaking about the cost of barrels of cutting agents used to dilute cocaine.

Mr Brooke said nine people have already pleaded guilty to their part in the set-up, including Shafton's Paul Robinson.

Mr Brooke said up to 200kg cocaine was imported from Mexico, over two years, concealed in the hydraulic arms of scissor lifts.

At its height, the gang turned over between £400,000 to £500,000 in a month, he said.

The gang's activities came to light when South Yorkshire Police launched a large-scale investigation in August 2011 after they witnessed a drug exchange in a Rawmarsh lay-by involving half a kilo of 80 per cent pure cocaine - which had a street value of about £40,000.

The trial, expected to last six weeks, continues.

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Reply Posted by Idiot on Friday April 26 2013 at 10:05
They always catch up with you in the end! Enjoy your time behind bars!

Reply Posted by ??? on Monday April 29 2013 at 18:43
Idiot ur name days it all laugh if he gets off wi it

Reply Posted by Dawn on Monday April 29 2013 at 18:49
Rot in jail u b******s whilst u are making yourself rich their are families out there suffering from the knock on effect of your nasty dealings

Reply Posted by ??? on Monday April 29 2013 at 19:07
There's worse ppl art there than drug dealers. Yeah it might be criminal wats been done but there's otha ppl but ******* hell people are suffering everyday cause of how the government are reforming this country.

Reply Posted by @@@@@@ on Tuesday April 30 2013 at 03:49
??? cannot understand why you would laugh if he gets away with it you should be locked up with him just for making a comment like that, they should pour the drugs down his throat make him die of an overdose skum of the earth.

Reply Posted by pub man on Wednesday May 1 2013 at 15:10
It's ok for the government to sell the drug (alcohol). Which from first hand experience causes destruction to lives.

Reply Posted by Bob Dazzler on Tuesday July 23 2013 at 00:14
Alcohol only causes destruction to the lives of a minority of people. The majority drink responsibly and without problem. To compare legal and controlled alcohol to illegal and unregulated drugs is childish.