Luxury Leeds flats hid the drug makers

James Beresford.
James Beresford.
Have your say

A drug dealer has been jailed over his involvement in an “industrial scale” operation which centred around upmarket flats in Leeds.

James Beresford was linked to the plot after an investigation in which over £400,000 worth of drugs and £100,000 in cash were seized during a series of raids at apartments across the city.

Officers also seized two 10-tonne hydraulic presses which were being used to produce ecstasy tablets.

Beresford, 28, of Nursery Lane, Alwoodley, was jailed for seven years and three months at Leeds Crown Court.

When officers raided his home in March this year they found £3,750 in cash hidden beneath a panel on his bath.

His fingerprints were also found on items found at a flat at Clarence Dock in the city centre. A search of that flat uncovered cocaine worth around £45,534.

The investigation started with officers setting up a hidden camera at apartments on Silver Cross Way, Guiseley, between December last year and January this year.

Michael Lacy, Mark Kilgallon and Rory Naughton – who were jailed in June for a total of 20 years – were seen coming and going from the property.

When officers arrested the men and searched the flats they found drugs worth more than £148,000 at the Guiseley flat including cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine along with £110,000 in cash.

Police also found a ten-tonne hydraulic press and 80kg of bulking agents including a caffeine and benzocaine mixture. A search at a flat in West Point in the city centre found more cocaine and another press. The judge who sentenced the three men earlier this year described the drug supply operation as being on an ”industrial scale” and said the potential harm if the drugs got onto the streets was “incalculable”.

Beresford pleaded guilty to producing a Class A drug and possessing cocaine and MDMA with intent to supply.

Det Insp Jaz Khan, of West Yorkshire police’s specialist drugs team, Operation Quartz, said: “This was a highly organised criminal operation processing Class A drugs on a large scale to supply them to dealers in very significant volumes. While Beresford was not at the head of this operation, he played a very significant role in processing and packaging the drugs and supplying them to lower level dealers.

“Drugs cause significant damage both to the lives of individuals and in our communities where they fuel crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Spurn Discovery Centre, opened by Simon King today'''Picture by Maurice Gordon

New £1.3m visitor centre opens on Spurn - as opposition continues