The girlfriend of a drug dealer, who trafficked amphetamine and cannabis to Nottinghamshire, recruited her mother, father and brother to his gang after an arrest threatened her lavish lifestyle.
The network was headed by Jonathan Walsh, 33.
He met Jodie Bowie on Facebook while serving a previous 14-year sentence for armed robbery.
Walsh then headed up a drugs operation after being released and moving in with Bowie in Failsworth, reported the Manchester Evening News.
She conspired with him in it – and it provided her with luxuries way beyond what she could have afforded working as a carer for the elderly.
Designer clothes, expensive jewellery, high-powered cars and cosmetic surgery appointments were funded by the ‘sophisticated’ drugs supply line.
When one of Walsh’s couriers – Bowie’s uncle, Joseph Grey – was arrested, Bowie was so determined to keep things going she enlisted her mum, dad, and brother to help with moving the cash generated by the racket.
Now the family has been sentenced in a Manchester Crown Court case which heard that Jodie Bowie was ‘fearless when it came to spending money’.
When Jodie Bowie’s home was raided the first time, police found over £100,000 worth of designer clothes as well as £10,000 in cash.
Another police visit recovered clothing valued at £27,000, another £5,410 in cash, while messages on her phone showed her making arrangements with Walsh to spend around £5,000 on cosmetic surgery.
Describing the weeks after Jonathan Walsh and Jodie Bowie moved in together, prosecutor Tom Challinor said: “Over a very short period of time Walsh began to accrue possessions of a lavish lifestyle, including Rolex watches, designer clothing, and driving expensive cars at £1,300 a month.
“They decked out their house in lavish décor which indicated that sort of lifestyle.
“Jodie Bowie worked at the time but was not on the sort of income which could have supported that lifestyle.
“When Grey was arrested and his (Walsh) operation was affected, she knew she had to do something about it – and that something was to recruit her family, namely her mother, brother and dad who assisted in the operation.”
“When it came to spending money, she was fearless.”
Manchester Crown Court heard Jonathan Walsh, 33, trafficked amphetamine and cannabis from the north west to Mansfield as the head of a drug dealing network.
He used various other people to do his ‘dirty work’, like trafficking the drugs and cash, including Jodie Bowie’s uncle, Joseph Grey.
When Grey got arrested, Bowie stepped in – tasking her mum Janice, dad David and brother Lee to ferry the cash across to Nottinghamshire.
Between they travelled to Mansfield and back on at least 21 occasions, a trial previously heard.
Throughout the year-long operation, Jodie, 32, told her parents and brother where to go and to delete their messages.
It was clear from the messages between Jodie and her family that they knew what they were involved in, the court was told.
“Between October 26 2018 and October 17 2019, Jonathan Walsh operated a sophisticated drugs line running class B drugs through the north west of England to the Mansfield area of Nottinghamshire,” the prosecutor said.
“He bought amphetamine and cannabis from Wigan and Warrington for couriers to pick up and transport them to Mansfield.
“This was controlled through Encrochat mobile phones, in which passwords were supplied, to keep the system secure and secret.
“The drugs were never kept at Walsh’s address, he distanced himself from them and had couriers effectively to do his dirty work for him.”
Joseph Grey, 56, acting a courier, delivered the drugs 11 times between October 24 and January 24 2019.
As Walsh later put it at court: “Grey made a lot of trips, so I made a lot of money.”
But, five days after Grey had made his last trip, he was observed handing a package to Walsh and stopped by armed police.
He admitted to having a hand grenade in his pocket and a gun and ammunition in his sleeve, shown in police bodycam footage which was released following the court cases.
His arrest prompted Walsh to find another courier, Kaylum Davies, who delivered the drugs on three occasions until his arrest.
“Undeterred, arrangements were then made for the Bowie family to step in,” Mr Challinor continued.
“Seven trips between April 10 and June 26 were made by David, Janice and Lee Bowie.
“Walsh said he would buy 10kg of cannabis at £50k and sell for £65k, making a profit of £15k.
“The total profit from the cannabis was £315,000.”
Walsh also said he bought 2kg of amphetamine for £1,000 and sold it for £1,500, making £500 profit per kilo.
He had intended to cut or bash the drug with other compounds, eight kilos of which were found in Chelsea Davies’ freezer.
The sister of Kaylum Davies, and girlfriend of Noel Walsh, Walsh’s brother, Chelsea Davies stored a significant amount of amphetamine in her freezer, and was recruited to sell cannabis to her friends, the court heard.
Eventually, ringleader Jonathan Walsh was caught following a police chase, and officers found 15kg of vacuum sealed packs of cannabis worth £150,000.
Messages between him and others showed the sheer scale of the operation, including the number of trips, the storing of the drugs and the efforts to avoid police detection.
The profit was said to be ‘considerable’ with Walsh and partner Jodie benefiting from it, with expensive watches, designer clothes and paying for and leasing expensive cars.
Family members were recruited because of the level of ‘trust’ the scheme depended upon, the court heard.
At a previous hearing, Walsh’s barrister Ian McMeekin said: “He is by his own admission, a large-scale cannabis dealer. For that he will pay the price.”
Mitigating for Jodie Bowie, Brendan O’Leary said his client worked as a carer for elderly people, and there was no evidence she had ‘in-depth’ knowledge of the operation.
Sentencing the gang, Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: “Cannabis is responsible for psychosis, depression and paralysis. It ruins lives equally damaged by OCGs such as this one in our society. This group was associated with firearms that cause fear and harm.”
“Jodie Bowie, you recruited family members as couriers and sent them messages in regards to meeting places and telling them they should delete messages.
“You stood to gain financially from this, I accept you did have personal income, but that income did not enable you to have the kind of lifestyle that you apparently did.”
Jonathan Walsh, of Warwick Road, Failsworth, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs and money laundering and was later found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm, conspiracy to possess ammunition and conspiracy to possess an explosive device after trial at Manchester Crown Court in September 2021. He was jailed for 15 years.
Anthony Jones, 40, of Parkview Road, Liverpool, was found guilty after a trial at Manchester Crown Court in June 2021 of conspiracy to possess ammunition and conspiracy to possess an explosive device and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Joseph Raymond Grey, of Hopgarth Walk, Manchester, pleaded guilty to firearm offences and he later pleaded guilty to drugs and money laundering and was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years at Manchester Crown Court in September 2021.
Kaylum Davies, 24, of Pirie Walk, Newton Heath, Manchester pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A heroin and conspiracy to supply class B (amphetamine and cannabis) and was jailed for three years.
Noel Walsh, 38, Cattlin Way, Oldham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B and money laundering. He was sentenced to three years.
Geoffrey Keenan, 54, of Clough Road, Failsworth, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class B and possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin was sentenced to two years and four months.
Jodie Bowie, of Medlock Road, Failsworth, Manchester received 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, a three month curfew between 7pm and 5.30am, 140 hours unpaid work and ten rehabilitation activity requirement days, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class B cannabis and money laundering.
David Bowie, 52, of Warwick Road, Failsworth, received ten months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, 80 hours unpaid work and £300 costs, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to transfer criminal property.
Janice Bowie, 53, of Warwick Road, Failsworth, received 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 80 hours unpaid work and £400 costs, after being found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to transfer criminal property.
Chelsea Davies, 28, of Cattlin Way, Oldham, Manchester received 14 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 100 hours unpaid work, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class B amphetamine and conspiracy to supply class B cannabis.
Lee Bowie, 34, Falside Walk, Newton Heath, is due to be sentenced at a later date, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to conceal/disguise/convert/transfer/remove criminal property.
Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Norman, of GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: “This was a lengthy and intricate operation dedicated to dismantling this criminal group.
“It’s hard to comprehend just how damaging these weapons and drugs could’ve been on our streets had police not recovered them first.
“We’ve now managed to make sure these people remain in jail for a significant amount of time, and our community is now a safer place with them behind bars.
“I hope this operation sends a clear message that GMP will work relentlessly to pursue anyone involved in the supply of harmful drugs and weapons.”
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