Banbury woman jailed for helping to supply cocaine as part of organised crime gang

A Banbury woman has been jailed for helping to supply cocaine, as part of a multi-county organised crime group.
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Sophie Plowman, 28, formerly of Songthrush Road, was sentenced to five years in prison for her part in an organised crime gang (OCG) that supplied drugs across the three counties – Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Wiltshire.

The conviction for conspiring to supply cocaine was in connection with a significant investigation by the Thames Valley Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit into the OCG, named Operation Sedate, in which six others have previously been sentenced.

Last year, the six others from across the three counties were sentenced to a combined total of 80 years and ten months in prison for their roles in selling the cocaine.

Sophie Plowman, aged 28, formerly of Songthrush Road in Banbury, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.Sophie Plowman, aged 28, formerly of Songthrush Road in Banbury, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Sophie Plowman, aged 28, formerly of Songthrush Road in Banbury, was found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine.

Between September 1, 2020, and May 26, 2021, Plowman was a member of the OCG who conspired to supply large quantities of drugs across the Thames Valley and Wiltshire.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Gavin Toney, of the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: "Sophie Plowman may have played a lesser role than other members of this OCG, but any involvement in drug supply is a serious offence, and she has now been sentenced accordingly.

"Those convicted brought large quantities of class A drugs into the Thames Valley.

"We will never tolerate this, and we will proactively and robustly pursue and prosecute offenders, and our activity will be both visible and covert to ensure that the harm brought into our communities by organised crime groups is removed."

The investigating operation was launched into the OCG, which was run by Richard and Patrick Gray, following intelligence received that the brothers were involved in the supply of class A drugs.

This intelligence was the result of the police receiving a tool to access the encrypted chat handle Cheetahsoda, which was attributed to Richard Gray.

The investigation identified that Richard Gray and others travelled to Lancashire to purchase drugs before returning to Banbury, where they were stored at Plowman’s home.

Following the execution of warrants in May 2021, more than 2.8 kg of cocaine and 18.3 grams of crack cocaine were recovered, along with cash totalling more than £158,000.