A drugs baron who continued to run his illicit empire while behind bars has had his prison sentence extended for orchestrating the industrial scale operation.

Daniel Perry organised for kilos of cocaine and amphetamine to be brought into the region while co-ordinating the purchase and restoration of firearms intended to be used to intimidate rival gangs.

The 38-year-old was heading up a gang of dealers who were flooding the Redcar area with drugs but he did not let his arrest stop him from heading up the network.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Perry continued to have regular contact with other members of the organised crime gang with a mobile phone that had been smuggled into prison.

Stephen Grattage, prosecuting, said the messages recovered from the mobile showed the hierarchy of the gang with the defendant directing all of those below him.

The conspiracy, which took place between July 2018 and August 9, 2021, involved regularly bringing kilos of the Class A and Class B drugs into the region.

He said: “He was able to control his organisation and deal in kilos of cocaine and amphetamine while in prison.”

Mr Grattage told the court that Perry was also conspiring to purchase weapons, including a semi-automatic pistol and locate a firing pin to reactivate another weapon.

The Northern Echo: Daniel PerryDaniel Perry

Perry, appeared in court via a video link from prison, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to supply Class B drugs, and conspiracy to possess firearms.

Ian West, mitigating, urged the judge to factor in totality when sentencing his client as he was already serving a significant sentence for similar charges.

Dealing with the firearms charge, he said: “For most of this time, he was in prison, he was in no position to himself take possession of any firearms.”

The Northern Echo: Weapons and ammunition seized by Cleveland PoliceWeapons and ammunition seized by Cleveland Police (Image: Cleveland Police)

Judge Christopher Smith added a further four years and six months onto Perry’s sentence for drug dealing and firearms offences which he ran from his prison cell.

“Drugs lie at the heart of this serious offending,” he said. “You were attracted by the huge sums of money you can generate from trading in cocaine and amphetamine on a commercial scale.

“The profits that you were chasing come at a serious cost – the misery and the addiction of others – and the substantial fear instilled in the public by the gun crime that is increasingly going hand in hand with drug trafficking.”

Judge Smith added: “You and your gang were making a concerted effort to arm yourselves with a host of dangerous and frightening weapons in order to cause a very real feel of violence in others.”

In March 2020, Perry was the latest member of the nationwide drug conspiracy to face justice when he was jailed for more than ten years.

Other members were jailed for a total of 41 years for their role in the highly sophisticated network spanning Teesside across to the North West, which was eventually brought down when two couriers were caught in the region.

Operation Spoonbill, which had been running for several years, made the breakthrough in October 2015 when 2kg of cocaine was seized but the gang continued to bring the Class A drug from Liverpool and Manchester.

The four other key members of the conspiracy to supply cocaine and amphetamine resulted in the North East gang being locked up after hundreds of messages were recovered from mobile phones belonging to the gang showing their efforts to source drugs and weapons.

Lee Moore, Charles Dodkins, and Daniel Snowdon were operating out of the Redcar area with the support of William Brown who was making the connections in Glasgow and Manchester.

And it was a raid on the Redcar home of Dodkins that gave police the breakthrough they required as they faced a number of drugs and weapons charges, Teesside Crown Court heard.

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Last month, Perry had 28 months added onto the term he is already serving at HMP Northumberland.

The drug kingpin was locked up after he tried to nobble a juror in an attempt to derail his £10m drug trial.

Jade Bainbridge let Perry know that the jury was on the verge of convicting him for his role in flooding the area with narcotics.

However, 27-year-old Bainbridge almost caused the trial to collapse after being contacted by Craig Osbourne, who was related to Perry, in December 2019 and they tried to persuade her to enter a not guilty verdict.

Perry was told that he will now serve a total of 17 years and four months for all of his collated offending.