Countylines drug dealers jailed for 90 years
5 June 2019, 15:13
Police crack county lines drug gang, with members jailed for 90 years
A county lines drug gang that conspired to supply class A substances across Carlisle have been jailed for a total of nearly 90 years.
Officers have brought down a group of 15 which forged links between Merseyside and north Cumbria to hatch their criminal plot.
The case is one of the biggest county lines drug conspiracies stopped by the county constabulary
Carlisle was targeted in a conspiracy that saw "text bomb" adverts for drugs sent out to addicts.
But the gang was smashed during Operation Nile, launched and carried out by the constabulary’s North Area Drug Squad.
Drug squad detectives were also helped and backed up by departments and agencies such as local and regional policing teams and the Crown Prosecution Service.
During sentencing, Judge Peter Davies said the officers who led and conducted the investigation should be commended.
He said the investigation led to the conspiracy being foiled and major figures apprehended.
This is a term used to described gangs and organised networks involved in exporting drugs into other areas, using dedicated mobile phone lines.
The group cracked by Operation Nile were involved in a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine between June and November last year.
They established a customer base by recruiting people from Carlisle.
They then sent out “text bombs” – group text messages sent to a large number of drug users offering the supply of drugs.
But complex investigations – part of the unseen policing going on day-and-night in the county - led to a string of arrests and the sentencing at Carlisle Crown Court today.
Those sentenced – and the sentences they received – were:
· Roy Hickman, 35, of Unity Buildings, Liverpool, who was jailed for 14 years and four months.
· Thomas Wright, 25, of Harefield Road, Liverpool, who was jailed for 10 years and six months.
· Christopher Westwell, 25, of Liverpool, who was jailed for nine years and nine months.
· Dylan Yates, 25, of Liverpool, who was jailed for 12 years and six months.
· James Bailey, 19, of Liverpool, who was jailed for nine years.
· Connor White, 23, of Eldon Drive, Carlisle, who was jailed for three years.
· Joseph Graham, 40, of Borrowdale Gardens, Carlisle, who was jailed for three years.
· Storme Abrahams, 32, of Mill Street, Longtown, who was jailed for two years.
· Peter Bryson, 31, of Castlerigg Drive, Carlisle, who was jailed for three years.
· Christopher Cooke, 39, of no fixed abode, who was jailed for five years and 219 days.
· Leon Kenyon, 48, of Osbourne Avenue, Carlisle, who was jailed for 20 months.
· Bradley Hickman, 35, of Ellesmere Way, Carlisle, who was jailed for two years.
· Daniel Brennan, 32, of no fixed abode, who was jailed for four years and six months.
· Michael Mandale, 51, of Greystoke, who was jailed for three years and nine months.
· Heather Wills, 37, of Castlerigg Drive, Carlisle, who was jailed two years and four months.
They were sentenced for being part of a conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
They all admitted it apart from Brennan and Bailey, who were convicted after a trial.
Officers used a range of investigative tactics to uncover the criminal conspiracy.
The conduct of the conspirators and investigations surrounding phone lines and text messages formed the basis of the investigation.
It also involved intricate desktop detective work.
A number of raids across the 10-week operation saw officers seize a variety of drugs, bulking agents, a large number of mobile phones and cash.
Police would like to take this opportunity to encourage the public to report information on drug supply.