TWO Redditch men involved in an extensive conspiracy to supply drugs in the town have both been jailed.

Adam Farmer, 35, and David Perkins, 31, part of a huge drugs empire spanning the Midlands and South West, appeared at Stafford Crown Court last week for sentence.

Farmer, said to be the leader of the organised crime group in Redditch, was jailed for eight years and six months and Perkins for 40 months.

A third Redditch man, Lee Higgins, 32 was given a total of 11 months suspended for a year for his role in passing on drugs and cash.

The court heard the men were among more than 20 people involved in the conspiracy between November 2014 and June last year supplying Class A and B drugs in Midlands towns.

Farmer, of Kineton Close, Redditch, had pleaded guilty to being involved conspiring to supply Mephedrone - also known as M-Cat or White Magic during 2014 and 2015.

Perkins, of Hindlip Close, Redditch, admitted his part in the conspiracy but had only acted as a courier.

Higgins, of Fownhope Close, Redditch, also pleaded guilty to being involved in cannabis production at his home.

The court heard he had received a suspended sentence in March, 2015, for being part of a wider conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Mr Simon Davis, prosecuting, said that only the heads of each organised crime group were in contact.

At the hub of the drugs supply were John Appleton and Michael O'Mahoney who ran the Cannock syndicate who had a team of 'trusted lieutenants' and 'foot soldiers', the court heard.

Police surveillance and phone analysis uncovered links between Appleton and Farmer, head of the Redditch group.

The court heard there were four occasions when drugs or money were exchanged between the two groups.

23 members of five organised crime groups have been sentenced to a total of 132 years in prison for their part in the drugs operation

Defendants received sentences of between two years and 10 years for their part in the conspiracy.

Inspector Pete Cooke, of Staffordshire Police's Major and Organised Crime team, said: "These sentences reflect the commitment and hard work of officers. We're delighted to see offenders who have preyed on the vulnerable in our communities behind bars for a considerable period of time."

Confiscation hearings against all the defendants under the Proceeds of Crime Act are due to be heard in February next year.