20th Oct, 2019

County lines drug gang jailed after bid to flood Leamington and Warwick with heroin and crack cocaine

Editorial Correspondent 12th Jul, 2019 Updated: 15th Jul, 2019

A CONSPIRACY to ferry more than £400,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine from Birmingham for sale in the Leamington and Warwick area has seen seven people jailed.

Their sentencing at Warwick Crown Court was the culmination of three-year long police operations to smash the ‘county lines’ drug ring.

The court heard after the first round of arrests, ringleader Meshach Duncan, his deputies Mateusz Frasunkiewicz and Dajon Donaldson, and dealer Kieran Aldred kept the operation going with new couriers to transport the drugs.

Two of those, Rebecca Manix and Deborah Walsh had denied being involved in conspiracies to supply the two class A drugs, but were convicted after a trial earlier this year.

Following an adjournment, they were sentenced alongside Duncan, Frasunkiewicz, Donaldson and Aldred who had pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and two of conspiring to supply heroin.

Duncan, 31, the brains behind the drugs ring, of Weeford Drive, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was jailed by Judge Peter Cooke for 10 years four months.

Aldred, 20, of St Michaels Road, Warwick, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years, Donaldson, 20, of Coniston Crescent, Great Barr, Birmingham, for six years nine months, and Frasunkiewicz, 21, of Buckley Road, Leamington, for six years ten months.

Manix, 46, of Morton Street, Leamington, and Walsh, 57, of Lower Avenue, Leamington, had both been convicted of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Manix, who had recruited Walsh, was jailed for six-and-a-half years, and Walsh for four-and-a-half years.

And Kyle Crossley, 18, of Pickard Street, Warwick, who was just 15 at the time he was involved in street dealing was sentenced to three years after being convicted after a trial last year of conspiring to supply heroin and crack.

Nick Devine, for Crossley, suggested he had become involved ‘through an element of naivety.’

In relation to Manix, Mr Devine said she had lost nearly 20 years to a chronic class A drug addiction.

“Her role was prolific, but it was limited, just to go to Birmingham, pick up a packet and bring it back, her gain being drugs for her own use.”

And Tom Schofield, for Walsh, said she had lived ‘a blameless life, if a drug-addled one,’ and has had health problems which include arthritis and high blood pressure.

Gurdeep Garcha, for Duncan, argued he was ‘not at the top of the pyramid’ – but that was rejected by the judge.

Joseph Keeling, for Frasunkiewicz, said he was smoking cannabis when he got involved and gave little thought to the consequences.

James Boyce, for Donaldson, said he had worked as a tiler, but took the unfortunate decision to become involved in supplying drugs.

Delroy Henry, for Aldred, said he got involved to help his mum.

Sentencing the seven, Judge Cooke said: “The reality is that this was a continuing, ongoing arrangement for the supply of class A drugs, the ones that cause the most harm and destruction to people’s lives.

In November last year, following a trial on conspiracy to supply heroin and crack, Michael Hedli, 41, whose home in Humphris Street, Warwick, was said to have been a staging post and a shop for the sale of the drugs, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Ian Ward, 45, of Churchill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, but who had previously lived in Beauchamp Road, Kenilworth, who made a number of drug runs, was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Steven Bicknell, 33, of Field Barn Road, Hampton Magna; and Paul Hodgson, 26, of Holly Road, Handsworth, were both given sentences of three-and-a-half years.

And Shaan Khan, 21, from Kenilworth, who had pleaded guilty, was sentenced to three years and nine months.

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