Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Four in Court Charged with Drugs Conspiracy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Four in Court Charged with Drugs Conspiracy

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court Reporter gareth.lightfoot@trinitymirror.com

FOUR men accused of taking part in wholesale drug dealing have gone on trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Jacob Mains, 28, Paul McQuade, 32, Bronson Robinson, 24, and Connor Robson, 23, all from Middlesbrough, deny conspiring to supply cocaine. Kilos of Class A drugs were seized by police investigating an alleged drugs gang in the town, a jury heard yesterday.

Opening the case, prosecutor Nick Johnson QC said Mains and McQuade were involved in the drugs supply mainly in the Middlesbrough area.

He told jurors the two men were involved in a "general ongoing business" in drugs in 2014.

He said groups of wholesale dealers in Middlesbrough and Darlington often co-operated, passing drugs and "helping each other out".

He said couriers made repeated trips to Middlesbrough, and the two groups used an established route to take drugs and cash from West Yorkshire.

The groups held meetings in remote, rural locations, showed "forensic awareness" and used "counter-surveillance techniques", he added.

Phones and SIM cards were changed to avoid detection and numbers were dropped or switched after arrests and busts, said Mr Johnson.

Members of the Darlington group, the route organiser and a "gobetween" have already pleaded guilty and are not on trial, the court heard.

The Crown says all four defendants including Robson, of Ferndale Avenue, Brambles Farm, and Robinson, of Cambridge Avenue, Linthorpe, were involved in one deal on April 8, 2014.

Police seized 1kg of 86%-pure cocaine, worth PS172,000 on the street, on that day. A Vauxhall Astra driven by Robson had been followed on the A67 following an alleged exchange in a Darlington club car park.

Jurors heard how Mains admitted conspiring to supply heroin, which McQuade denies. …

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