Mother who ran cocaine and cannabis ring with her two sons is jailed

Middle-class mother-of-three who ran cocaine and cannabis ring from her £500,000 home in well-heeled Alderley Edge along with her two sons is jailed for three years

  • Julie Finney and her two sons Marcus and Dylan set up their HQ at her home 

A middle-class mother-of-three who ran a family drug trafficking racket from her £500,000 suburban semi-detached home in one of Britain’s richest villages has been jailed for three years.

Julie Finney, 48, and her two sons Marcus and Dylan set up their HQ at her three bedroomed home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, after the youngsters were brought up against a background of cocaine and cannabis abuse.

Over a 16-month period, retail worker Finney helped mastermind what was described as a ‘well run and busy’ trade in Class A and Class C drugs from her property on a cul-de-sac in the epicentre of the county’s so-called ‘Golden Triangle’.

As part of the narcotics operation her sons would send out so called ‘flare’ texts to addicts with their latest offers whilst she herself offered discounted rates on her wares and gave her bank details for online payments.

The racket was eventually busted after a major police investigation into drug supply in the area where Premier League footballers and TV stars have luxury properties and where more champagne per head is sold than anywhere else in the UK. 

Julie Finney, a middle class mother-of-three who ran a family drug trafficking racket

Pictured is her son Marcus Finney outside Chester Crown Court

Dylan (left) was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution, suspended for 18 months – here he is pictured with Marcus 

At Chester Crown Court, Finney wept as she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis. 

The brothers both admitted the same drugs offences as their mother. 

Marcus, 28, was jailed for four years whilst Dylan, 19, was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders institution, suspended for 18 months and was ordered to abide by a 8pm to 6am curfew for 12 months. 

Mr Sion ap Mihangle, prosecuting, said the drug dealing took place from 15 January 2020 until their arrest on 30 May 2021 and added: ‘Julie and her sons operated a well run and busy street dealing enterprise together.

‘Marcus and Dylan would routinely send out flare messages advertising sales of cannabis. There was mention of large quantities of drugs being sourced and the purchasing of cannabis by the kilogram.

‘On 18 December 2020, police executed a search warrant at the defendants’ home address when Dylan was present. Police seized 88g of cannabis valued at between £419 and £460 together with £1,182 in cash.

‘Police also found scales and bags and cutting agents were also received. Dylan alone was arrested on that occasion. 

‘On March 3, 2021 police officers observed Marcus behaving in a manner suggesting that he was dealing drugs. He was going in and out of vehicles acting suspiciously generally at various locations.

Julie Finney has been jailed for three years and Marcus, 28, was jailed for four years

‘Julie Finney arranged supply of high-quality cocaine and supplied details to others when arranging supplies of drugs,’ a court heard

Read more: Man accused of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel tells court he was a ‘high-level cannabis dealer’

‘He was found with £205 in cash and three spliffs. On his mobile phone messages seen by the officer which were consistent with street dealing. When handcuffed he ran away but was later stopped.

‘He was found with 27.2g of cannabis with £360. Bags of cash amounting to £60 were also recovered. 

‘When strip searched in custody a black patch was found with three bags of cocaine valued at £100 to £105.

‘Dylan was later searched in March and May 2021. On 6 March he was found with 6.6g of cannabis and on 29 May with 16.2 g of cannabis, the cumulative value was between £220 and £235.

‘As part of these interventions mobile phones were recovered from all three defendants. They were later analysed and messages recovered were consistent with Marcus and Julie Finney being actively involved in supplying cocaine. Dylan was involved for a week.

‘All three were actively involved in the sale and supply of cannabis. On April 23 2021, Marcus sent a flare message advertising high purity cocaine for sale and other messages confirmed that drugs had been supplied. ‘There was an image on his phone of him snorting cocaine and also a tag attached saying, ‘Nice guy who sells drugs.’

‘Julie Finney arranged supply of high quality cocaine and supplied details to others when arranging supplies of drugs. On December 10, 2020 she offered to supply cocaine and on the following day she made the same offer, only on this occasion at a discounted price.’

Mr ap Mihangel said that the messages suggested that they had a ‘busy’ trade dealing in the Rusholme area of South Manchester and added: ‘All the defendants were interviewed on more than one occasion, later with the mobile phone evidence. In all interviews defendants replied no comment to questions put to them.’

Marcus Finney had 35 previous offences on his record including cannabis dealing in 2010, and being in possession of cannabis in 2012 and 2017. His mother had four convictions for four offences, none of which were drug related.

For Julie Finney, defence counsel Jane Dagnall said: ‘When she was 15 and started to take drugs Miss Finney probably never thought she would be standing here with two sons and a third in the back of the court watching the fate of the family.

‘She knows she is likely to go to custody and it will be her first taste of custody. The situation is that she is scared but not for herself but for her sons. That is part of the pain she bears. 

‘In the presentence report, where it says that it was her way of life, that she has normalised her way of life, she put her head down in shame. She does understand the effects of drugs.’

Miss Dagnall said her other son Joel had given up his university course and was going to take a job and to help keep the family home going. She had sought medical help with drug use by attending art therapy classes.

For former restaurant chef Marcus, defence counsel Peter Killen said: ‘There is a background of long-standing drug misuse from his teenage years including the misuse of cocaine. 

‘He was already using drugs at the age of 13. There are a number of factors that led up to this offence. He lost contact with his daughter in 2018 which led to an increase in drug misuse.

‘Then he lost his job in the pandemic. He was idle in the daytime and with the loss of money it led to greater problems with drug use and a downward spiral which led him to offend.’

For Dylan, Gareth Roberts said: ‘He has had an ongoing problem since the age of 13 had been using cannabis. His involvement with cannabis has come about through hanging out with older people and through his family sadly he had been immersed into a world of drugs.

‘By the time he was 16 he was smoking cannabis daily and mixing with people far more sophisticated criminally. 

‘He was dealing with cannabis. He realises that has been wrong. He has no wish to go back to that life.’

Sentencing Judge Simon Berkson said: ‘There were large amounts of drugs involved. This was not just one supply, it was a number of supplies over that period of time. 

‘All that supply involves people receiving those drugs and taking drugs. The effects of taking drugs have serious consequences.’

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