FOR Lewis Turner and Anthony Morgan, dealing drugs was a family business.

In Morgan’s case, he had recruited his grandma, his girlfriend and her step-sister to work inside the pair’s cocaine racket.

Meanwhile, Turner was following in the footsteps of his uncles – namely twin brothers Anthony and Leon Cullen.

Warrington Guardian:

Anthony Cullen

It is now more than two years since the Cullens were last seen on the streets of Warrington, their status as the two biggest names in the town’s criminal underworld ended during a series of dawn raids in early 2018.

Anthony was arrested and later admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, being handed 27 years behind bars in January 2019.

Leon meanwhile managed to flee and was only captured by police in Dubai earlier this year, with extradition proceedings now underway.

Warrington Guardian:

Leon Cullen

He is yet to be convicted over his alleged involvement in organised crime.

But police suspect that Turner and Morgan were still working on behalf of the Cullens a whole 18 months after their downfall.

Operation Iconic, a roughly year-long police investigation, identified the pair as playing ‘leading roles’ in a class A drugs cartel operating in Warrington.

Turner was top of the tree, while Morgan came next in the hierarchy.

Warrington Guardian:

Anthony Morgan

And this gang, as well as another more notorious one brought down by Operation Fullbacks – from which Turner sourced the drugs – in the year prior, had ‘undoubted’ links to the Cullen brothers.

A source inside the force told the Warrington Guardian: “There was undoubtedly a link between Operation Fullbacks, Operation Iconic and the Cullen brothers.

“The theory behind these investigations is that they’re working for somebody higher up the chain.

“One inference might be that that’s Leon and Anthony Cullen.

“Clearly they’re elsewhere and have not been prosecuted as part of this, but our theory is that those people involved in Fullbacks and Iconic are potentially working for those individuals.”

A series of raids in July 2019, codenamed Operation Tamer, saw eight suspects arrested – investigations having been ongoing since the summer of the previous year.

READ MORE: How police brought down the racket caught with nearly £150,000 of drugs

As well as Turner and Morgan themselves, they included the latter’s grandma Julie Morgan and girlfriend Maria Beeby – as well as Beeby’s step-sister Katie Newton.

Paul Ratcliffe and Anthony Bond were also held, as was John Large – a previous co-conspirator of Leon Cullen’s, who was jailed for eight years and nine months in October after being sentenced alongside the crooks identified during Operation Fullbacks.

Warrington Guardian:

John Large

Kayvon Allen and Samantha Gerrard – Turner’s girlfriend – were charged over the following weeks.

All of them have since admitted various drug offences, with the remaining nine defendants having been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court today, Thursday.

Safehouses were identified at Julie Morgan’s home on Windermere Avenue in Orford, Beeby and Newton’s dad’s house on Armour Avenue in Longford and a flat on Bewsey Park Close, with several seizures made before the strike date of Wednesday, July 10 2019.

Warrington Guardian:

One of the raids in July 2019

Firearms were seized from grandma’s safehouse on that date, but none of them were viable.

A garage run by Large on Lilford Street in Bewsey was also raided, but no evidence of criminality was found.

All involved worked for an organised crime group supplying drugs – mainly cocaine, but also occasionally ecstasy – in various amounts, from multiple ounces all the way through to street dealing, across Warrington and beyond.

Many only had minor, if any, previous convictions - but several are now facing serious jail time for their membership in a gang which was not afraid to use violence if debts were owed.

And officers have noted a decrease in the levels of crime since they have been off the streets.

The police source added: “The rewards are very high, because if you involve yourself in class A drugs supply there is the potential to earn a lot of money.

“There was an element of violence within the conspiracy.

“It was clearly evident, certainly in the case of Lewis Turner, that there were threats made to people who didn’t pay their bills.

“Violence was offered, otherwise people wouldn’t pay the bills they owed for drugs.

“There were threats, intimidation and acts of assault to enforce their position as people who are supplying drugs.

“We’re constantly appealing to members of the public to identify to us where the next individuals who may want to take over are, where they’re operating from and how they’re doing it.

“If we get that type of information, we will act on it.”