A group involved in County Lines drug supply from Merseyside to Barrow in Furness have been jailed following a joint investigation by Cumbria and Merseyside Police.
- Brady Cole, 31, of East Lane, Runcorn, was sentenced to four years and four months
- Daniel Bullock, 30, of Raleigh Street, Barrow was sentenced to three years and six months
- Tony Miller, 35, of Annan Street, Barrow, was sentenced to two years.
The men were jailed for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
The convictions form part of Operation Flaught which targeted a County Lines group named ‘Jimmy’ who were operating in the Barrow-in-Furness area selling heroin and crack cocaine. The police identified that a telephone line was being operated form Merseyside using the brand name ‘Jimmy’ on the 9th and 10th March this year.
On the morning of 10th March the ‘Jimmy’ line informed drug users in Barrow that Class A drugs were for sale by way of SMS message. This SMS was sent in Merseyside and throughout the course of the day the ‘Jimmy’ line continued to orchestrate the supply of Class A to drug users in Barrow from Merseyside.
Back in Barrow-in-Furness, Daniel Bullock was acting as ‘street dealer’ supplying the Class A drugs to the end user operating from the home address of Tony Miller. Shortly after 2pm, police entered an address in Annan Street, Barrow in Furness which was the home address of Miller. As they entered, officers observed a satchel being thrown from a window. This was later recovered and found to contain £3,020 cash and 74 street deals of Class A drugs. The drugs were scattered across the rear of the property and adjacent roof tops.
Located inside the property were Daniel Bullock and Tony Miller. Both were arrested for drug supply offences.
Shortly after entry to Annan Street, officers from Merseyside Police stopped Brady Cole who was a passenger in a vehicle. He was arrested for Conspiracy to Supply Class A. When the vehicle was searched, officers located the ‘Jimmy’ line which had been orchestrating the events in Barrow-in-Furness.
All three men were subsequently charged and pleaded guilty to their involvement in this network.
Brady Cole was shown to be the head of the group and in control of the drugs line. He directed the other members of the group.
Bullock acted as a runner in his hometown of Barrow, supplying the drugs directly to users.
Tony Miller allowed his home to be used as part of the criminal enterprise.
A spokesperson for the South Community Serious and Organised Crime Team said: “This is yet another significant sentencing for people involved in County Lines drug dealing here in South Cumbria. This has been a result of some outstanding multi-agency work with our Merseyside colleagues. We continue to work closely with our multi-agency partners.
“I thank the officers involved in this operation for their dedication and commitment, we will continue to target those at every level of the supply chain in order to dismantle drug gangs.
“Cumbria Police have recently implemented a more focussed approach to the threat posed to our communities by Serious and Organised Crime with the formation of Community Serious & Organised Crime Teams (C-SOC Teams).
“These are agile, proactive, specialist teams of officers with geographical responsibility for targeting SOC in their areas with the support of the wider Specialist Capability available in Cumbria that includes our Force Intelligence Units, Serious & Organised Crime Unit, Economic Crime Unit, Operational Support, Roads Crime Unit, and Roads Policing Unit.
“Cumbria Police also works daily and extensively with law enforcement partners in Merseyside Police and the Regional Organised Crime Unit to combat serious and organised crime and County Lines specifically.
“Cumbria Police will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in serious and organised crime, including County Lines, who are operating in or passing through our county. We will continue to identify, arrest, convict, seize criminal assets and impose restrictive orders on offenders who impact on our communities.
“We continue to urge anyone with knowledge of drug dealing or drug supply in South Cumbria, and Cumbria as a whole, to get in touch.”
Merseyside Police, Project Medusa Detective Inspector Gary Stratton said: “Today’s sentencing shows our continued commitment to work with partners in other forces to crack down on County Lines drug supply.
“Project Medusa is dedicated to cutting these County Lines dead and as this investigation has shown, regional boundaries do not matter. We work with partners in other forces to trace those responsible and bring them to justice while helping those who may be exploited by these organised criminal gangs.
“This type of drug dealing not only blights the lives of the drug users and the communities in which they deal in but also the lives of the young and vulnerable people used to store and sell the drugs. Who are often subject to grooming, violence and intimidation.
“We will continue to work with police forces across the country to make sure there is no safe place for such criminals to hide.”