Ripon area man charged in major police drugs sting

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

SIX men have appeared in court after a long-running police operation targeting drug dealers across the Harrogate and York districts netted over £200,000 worth of illegal drugs and a large quantity of cash.

The six – including three from the Harrogate and Ripon area – appeared before magistrates in Harrogate on Tuesday charged with conspiracy to supply controlled drugs: cocaine, cannabis and flephedrone (the latter is a stimulant which was outlawed in the UK in 2010).

All six men were sent for trial, on unconditional bail, at York Crown Court. They are expected to make an initial appearance before a judge on Monday (June 18).

They are: James Basford, 28, of Arthur’s Avenue, Harrogate; Daniel James Fisher, 34, of Wilsden, Bradford; Oliver Louis Hawksworth, 27, of The Log Cabin, Woodlands Farm, Burton Leonard, near Ripon; Thong Cam Hoang, 39, of Ambleside Gardens, Pudsey; Benjamin Lindley Tootill, 29, of Holly Court, Cavendish Avenue, Harrogate; and Stephen Robert Small, 29, of Dodsworth Avenue, York.

Basford, Fisher, Tootill and Small all face three conspiracy charges with Hawksworth and Hoang facing two, involving cocaine and flethedrone.

Basford and Fisher are also charged with cannabis possession and Hawksworth with possession of cocaine

Fisher, Tootill and Hoang are also accused of facilitating the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property and cash.

12 more men are due to face charges at York Magistrates’ Court.