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Monday, May 27, 2024
Monday May 27, 2024
Monday May 27, 2024

Ruthless rise of Cheetham Hill Gang: Shotgun raids and military-style tactics unleashed

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From historic feuds to modern crackdowns: The infamous ‘Hillbillies’ strike fear in Manchester

In the gritty streets of Manchester, the notorious Cheetham Hill Gang, ominously dubbed the ‘Hillbillies‘, has resurfaced with their signature blend of shotgun-wielding audacity and military-style raids. This criminal syndicate, infamous since the 1980s and 90s, boasts a storied history of violence, feuds, and a relentless pursuit of power.

The battleground between Cheetham Hill and Moss Side, two Manchester districts, witnessed a tumultuous clash fueled by drugs and territorial dominance. The Cheetham Hill Gang, driven by a desire to control Moss Side’s lucrative drug trade, engaged in a ferocious feud with the Doddington crew from Moss Side.

What began as a struggle for supremacy escalated into a violent drug war, transcending familial bonds as Cheetham Hill’s criminals attempted to seize control. Peace talks, led by the late Paul Massey in a Manchester pub during the 1990s, failed to quell the chaos. The Cheetham Hill firm, characterized by an anarchic ethos, took on security guards during heists and showed no allegiance to rival gang bosses.

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The Cheetham Hill firm earned its reputation as ‘blaggers,’ targeting banks and post offices with audacious heists in the 1980s. Among its colorful cast of characters was Anthony ‘White Tony’ Johnson, a gangster with a tragic past. Raised by his grandmother, Winnie Bennett, whose son Keith fell victim to Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Johnson pursued a life of crime with daring bravado.

During the Madchester era, marked by iconic nightclubs like the Hacienda, Johnson and the Cheetham Hill mob frequented the vibrant Manchester nightlife. Known for swaggering into clubs with a gun, intimidating doormen, and dodging admission fees, Johnson’s audacious exploits were synonymous with the rebellious spirit of the time.

However, Johnson’s criminal journey met a violent end just two months after participating in an armed robbery in Oldham. Shot dead outside a Cheetham Hill pub, Johnson’s murder trial involving South Manchester gang boss Dessie Noonan collapsed at Manchester Crown Court, leaving the city in shock.

The Adetero brothers, David and Ade, emerged as a formidable force within the Cheetham Hill Gang during the 90s. Specializing in robberies, their tight-knit crew executed a staggering 14 heists in two years. One notorious incident involved dragging a security guard through Morrisons while terrorizing shoppers with gunshots.

Stephen Akinyemi, known as the ‘King of the Hill,’ roared through Manchester streets in a silver Porsche, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s bars and clubs. His presence extended to controlling security at various doors across Manchester. Akinyemi’s life took a fateful turn in 2010 during a visit to Stockport businessman Arran Coghlan’s home, resulting in a tussle that claimed Akinyemi’s life. Murder charges against Coghlan were later dropped.

In recent years, Bury New Road in Cheetham Hill earned the moniker ‘Counterfeit Street,’ becoming a hub for bootleg goods. Police launched extensive raids, seizing over 1000 tonnes of counterfeit items and shutting down 200 shops. The crackdown significantly reduced violent crime in the area by 50%, highlighting the authorities’ commitment to eradicating illegitimate operations.

Greater Manchester Police Detective Sergeant Matt Donnelly emphasized the brazen nature of criminals in the area, expressing determination to eliminate illegitimate shops and bring those responsible to justice. The relentless efforts of law enforcement aim to create a safer environment, undeterred by the audacity of criminal elements.

As the Cheetham Hill Gang’s legacy persists, the city remains on edge, navigating a complex landscape shaped by historic feuds, daring blags, and a relentless pursuit of power. The streets may have changed, but the shadow of the ‘Hillbillies’ lingers, a constant reminder of Manchester’s tumultuous criminal history.

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