Two men – one described by police as a ruthless drugs dealer – have been handed lengthy jail terms for their role in importing heroin to the island.

Shaun Milligan and Frank Harrison tried to evade arrest by driving at high speed through the back lanes of Douglas.

The pair were arrested as part of Operation Bobcat, a major police investigation into organised crime.

A total of 227.23g of heroin was seized. It had a street value of between £34,650 and £69,307.

The Court of General Gaol Delivery heard that Milligan, 47, of Manor Woods, Douglas, was a key individual in the organised crime gang. He was jailed for a total of 11 years.

Harrison, 42, of Brisbane Street, Douglas, allowed his address to be used for the delivery of the drugs. He was jailed for seven years.

Detective Inspector Jamie Tomlinson of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: ‘Shaun Milligan has been involved in the supply of controlled drugs for over 26 years here on the island, having first been dealt with for drug supply in 1997.

‘Since that date, he was subsequently convicted of further drug supply offences and we believe he remained a prominent figure in the local drug scene for many years despite his previous incarcerations.

‘He was arrested, along with Mr Harrison, having taken possession of 277 grams of heroin shortly after it had been delivered to Harrison’s address in Douglas. He had been instrumental in arranging its production, we believe from a Merseyside-based Organised Crime Group’

He added: ‘The length of this sentence reflects the seriousness of the matter and the commodity involved.

‘Heroin is a horrific substance which ruins lives, causes loss of life and leads to terrible addiction which in some cases makes users turn to crime in order to feed their habits’.

‘This is a welcome sentence which has taken a ruthless drug dealer off our streets for a significant period’.