SEVERAL more members of a criminal gang which "flooded" the streets of North Wales with drugs have been jailed.

Thursday saw six more people involved with the "echo line" drugs operation appear at Mold Crown Court for sentencing.

Previously the court heard how the Merseyside-based operation had packaged and supplied class A drugs estimated to be worth more than £2 million to areas in Scotland, England and North Wales; specifically Deeside and Anglesey.

Its method of dealing involved customers calling one phone line - named the echo line - which was operated by a single call handler at any one time.

Drugs including heroin and cocaine would then be supplied to the relevant areas by third parties.

On the first day of sentencing the man identified as the "mastermind" behind the operation - 49-year-old Colin Jones, of no fixed abode - was jailed for 21 years.

David Rawling, aged 38 and of Lily Road in Litherland, appeared before the court on Thursday.

Andrew Craig Jones, prosecuting, said following the dismissal of a fellow gang member, Rawling had "slipped seamlessly" into the role of Colin Jones' right hand man and had responsibility for the day-to-day running of the echo line.

The court also heard that upon becoming concerned that the dismissed gang member had been stealing, Colin Jones and David Rawling hatched a plan to cause him serious harm by hiring a ‘hit’ on him.

A covert monitoring device placed in Rawling's vehicle had picked up conversations with an unknown male about the plan, as well as a reconnaissance trip to where they believed the targeted gang member lived and discussions about an escape plan.

Before the act could be carried out, police intervened.

Sentencing Rawling, Judge Niclas Parry told him: "You took on a leading role when you took over and became responsible for running the drugs line and orchestrating the sales.

"For at least six months you were the right hand man of Colin Jones. You were involved in all aspects of the business.

"It is clear from the covert recordings that you and Colin Jones were particularly close - that is why he turned to you to help him with at least one other to seek revenge.

"You were not in any way in his thrall, you were a willing and enthusiastic participant."

The judge said he accepted that the gravity of Rawling's offending did not reach the seriousness of Colin Jones' and he recognised that Rawling was "lightly convicted."

Rawling was sentenced to 11 years for various drug related offences, and a further four-and-a-half years for the conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm which will run consecutively - making his total jail time 15-and-a-half-years.

Barry Roche, aged 47 and of no fixed abode, was then sentenced to nine years for various drug related offences.

Christopher Hilton Stables, defending, said: "He was a 'bagger' and he accepts he was occasionally given the phone to carry.

"The echo line was given to him as a last resort.

"He wasn't the head of the operation, or even on the next rung down. He was perhaps on the rung below that."

Judge Parry told Roche: "You were trusted to run the line and when not in that position of trust you'd prepare and distribute class A drugs.

"Yours was a significant role in this conspiracy."

Next came the sentencing of 50-year-old Patricia Massingham, of Studland Road in Liverpool.

The court heard that she - along with others including Roche - was responsible for the facilitation of the echo line as well as the storage and distribution of drugs.

Sentencing her to four-and-a-half years, Judge Parry said: "You stored large amounts of class A drugs - at one stage you had up to eight kilograms at your home.

"The reality is you were a greatly trusted courier. It is what we call a significant role.

"From what I have read and heard, you are clearly a vulnerable lady who is ripe to be taken advantage of.

"I bear in mind the effect of any sentence on your two young children - mercy has been extended to you."

Also shown mercy was 61-year-old Edward White who, the court heard, has had difficulty in securing a kidney transplant due to being in custody.

The court heard White, of Elstead Road in Liverpool, has stage five chronic kidney disease and a letter from his daughter read by Judge Parry stated a lengthy jail term would be a "death sentence."

The judge told White: "You were a trusted associate and courier and you had responsibility for storing and collecting large quantities of class A drugs.

"At times you have been found to be in possession of many tens of thousands of pounds worth of drugs - but your mitigation is significant."

White was jailed for four-and-a-half-years.

Anglesey "sub-dealer" Anthony Fahy, aged 28 and of Gongl Rhedyn in Cemaes Bay, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.

The court heard how in April last year Fahy and another male had been stopped on the A55 after returning to Anglesey from Liverpool.

He'd been seen visiting the home of Patricia Massingham prior to the stop and when police searched the vehicle they found about 2kg of cannabis, as well as cocaine.

Simon Killeen, defending, said Fahy got involved in the sale of the drugs due to his own use of them and that he'd never been in custody before.

Lastly Richard William John Anderson, aged 47 and of Glebe Place in Lockerbie, Dumfries, was jailed for seven years.

The court heard how Anderson was a sub-dealer and supplier of drugs in his own right and had become involved in the conspiracy as a customer.

David Wales, defending, said Anderson dealt drugs to pay off a debt in addition to funding his own habit.

"There were several transactions between you and the main conspirator," Judge Parry told Anderson. "You would have had an awareness of the scale of this conspiracy."

The sentencings continue on Friday.