Semi-professional footballers with "promising careers" will spend years in jail after they were jailed for drug dealing. 

The gang were sentenced to over 104 years in total at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, May 17, having all previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and ketamine.

Police said they had supplied drugs "on an industrial scale" throughout the UK - the cocaine alone had an estimated street value of £208 to £260 million.

It was the arrest of one of the gang - Luke Skeete, 36, that led to the "house of cards" coming down.

Skeete, of Evergreen Drive, West Drayton, was previously jailed for 15 years in July 2023 after he admitted two counts of possession of cocoaine with intent to supply, possession of ketamine with intent to supply, supplying cocaine, and driving while disqualified.

Times Series: Luke SkeeteLuke Skeete (Image: Met Police)

He was stopped by police in October 22 as he was driving a small van. When they searched it, officers found 8kg of cocaine in the back.

A video from a car involved in a deal showed Skeete parking his van and passing over a holdall of drugs.

Skeete was arrested and a further 123kg of cocaine and 224kg of ketamine was recovered from storage units in west London that he had control of.

Times Series: Some of the cocaine foundSome of the cocaine found (Image: Met Police)

Officers searched his phone and found a secure messaging platform with group chats in which users concealed their true identities. Another investigation identified the conspirators. 

CCTV showed gang members entering and leaving the storage unit with drugs concealed in holdalls and boxes.

Times Series: Jamarl JosephJamarl Joseph (Image: Met Police)

Between April 10, 2022, and October 20, 2022, they conspired to supply more than 2.7 tonnes of high grade cocaine with an estimated street value of £208,160,000 to £260,200,000.

On September 28, 2023, Specialist Crime officers raided addresses linked to the group in London and Birmingham and arrested and charged all the individuals in question.

The sentences

Jamarl Joseph, 28, of Lily Gardens in Alperton, was jailed for 26 years, which was reduced to 17 years.

Two men from North Acton – Andrew Harewood, 34, of Woodhurst Road, and Melchi Emanuel-Williamson, 29 of Wesley Avenue, were jailed for 24 years and 21 years respectively.

Times Series: Andrew HarewoodAndrew Harewood (Image: Met Police)

Harewood had his sentence reduced to 16 years and one month, while Emanuel-Williamson's was reduced to 14 years.

Times Series: Melchi Emanuel-WilliamsonMelchi Emanuel-Williamson (Image: Met Police)

Adam Pepara, 25, of Wharf Lane, Solihull, was jailed for 29 years, reduced to 24 years.

Skeete was jailed for 22 years, reduced to 13 years.

Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, 29, of Delgarno Gardens, North Kensington, was jailed for 26 years, reduced to 18 years.

Times Series: Shaquille Hippolyte-PatrickShaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (Image: Met Police)

'Supplying drugs on industrial scale'

Police Constable Perry, from Specialist Crime North, said: “The operation we’ve dismantled here is not some minor undertaking, involving a group of chancers – this is a highly organised criminal group who were supplying drugs on an industrial scale throughout the UK.

“The sentences received reflect the gravity of what they had been doing. This is a criminal group who had otherwise promising careers – semi-pro footballers with other jobs and courses they were undertaking – but they were motivated by making money from drugs that fuel misery and violence on our streets.”

Times Series: Adam PeparaAdam Pepara (Image: Met Police)

Detective Constable Janes, from Specialist Crime North, said: “With Skeete’s arrest we brought this house of cards down.

“After he was detained we secured valuable evidence on his mobile phone, helping us launch another investigation that led to us identifying his conspirators.”