Drug gang jailed after woman arrested with cocaine and cannabis worth £ 70,000 on the A19
Six drug traffickers were locked up today after police uncovered a national drug conspiracy after finding Â£ 70,000 of drugs on a courier driving on the A19.
Joanne Cooke was arrested in Crathorne, near Yarm, in April 2016 while transporting drugs into the area from Liverpool.
She was found with 2 kg of cannabis in her car and 1/2 kg of cocaine, which was described as “high purity, import quality”.
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The drugs were unloaded in Teesside and in the south of England.
A network of suppliers on Teesside then sold the drugs, “on the street.”
Phone records showed that Cooke was in constant contact with Liverpool-based Dennis Dawrant Junior on every trip she took.
Teesside Crown Court learned that Dawrant Junior was the organizer of the gang and that he worked alongside his father, Dennis Dawrant Senior, both intervening to transport cocaine and cannabis after Cooke’s arrest, until that they find a new courier to resume his work.
Members of the Merseyside-based gang, who were placed under police surveillance in 2016-2017, have had different roles in keeping the drug operation running smoothly.
Dennis Dawrant Junior, 43, described as “the hub at the heart of it” has organized more than 70 courier trips to Teesside from Liverpool.
Dawrant Senior, 62, was the “warehouse man” who also kept notes on financial transactions.
Edward Metcalfe, Alan McCaig and Stephen Folan were sentenced for their role as couriers.
Text messages from the gang revealed they were being paid around Â£ 200 per trip.
The gang was responsible for transporting large quantities of cocaine and cannabis, mainly to Teesside but also to dealers across the country.
The entire gang pleaded guilty to both counts of conspiring to supply Class A and Class B drugs, with the exception of Folan, who was convicted after a trial. Folan’s defense told the judge he now accepts his part in the operation.
Judge Paul Watson told the court that âClass A drugs like cocaine are highly addictive.
The misery and damage drug addiction causes to physical and mental health are all too familiar to those who practice and sit in criminal courts.
Drug addicts invariably resort to crime to satisfy their craving.
At a higher level, drug trafficking and the astronomical profits it generates frequently give rise to gang rivalries and turf wars which lead to public disorder and serious violence. ”
Imprisoning them one by one, the judge told them, âEach of you was involved. It is a supply at a serious and commercial end of the scale. It is a scourge for society. ”
Gang leader Dawrant Junior, of Capricorn Crescent in Liverpool, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Dawrant Senior, of Vale Street in Denbigh received an eight year and six month sentence; Metcalfe, 60, of Green Bank Drive in Liverpool was sentenced to eight years in prison; Folan, 37, of Northumberland Street in Liverpool was given seven years and six months; Cooke, 36, of Trentham Avenue in Liverpool was given four years and eight months; McCaig, 64, of Fine View Crescent in Stranraer was given five years and four months.
Members of the Teesside gang will be sentenced tomorrow.
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