Posted: Fri 23rd Jun 2023

Chester: County line drug gang jailed for more than 12 years for dealing class A drugs

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jun 23rd, 2023

A prominent county lines drug trafficking ring, operating between Liverpool and Chester, was dealt a major blow on Thursday, 15 June, as five men were sentenced at Chester Crown Court.

Benjamin Carter of Sprucewood Close, Liverpool; Jack Elliott of Welton Green, Liverpool; and Christopher Davidson of Cemlyn Close, Chester, all received prison sentences, collectively amounting to over 12 years. Meanwhile, their associates Kenneth Woods of Marsden Street, Liverpool, and Alan Clelland of Snaefell Avenue, Liverpool, received suspended sentences for their involvement in the supply of Class A drugs.

The sentencing followed an intensive investigation beginning in 2021 into the team known as the “Jonno” line.

The operation was launched when Chester CID detectives identified four mobile phone numbers actively involved in the sale of illegal drugs.

Carter, 35, and Elliott, 25, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, including crack cocaine and heroin.

Carter was sentenced to seven years, Elliott received a three-year sentence, while Davidson, 41, was handed a one-year-and-four-month sentence.

Clelland, 60, and Woods, 37, both received suspended sentences with additional hours of unpaid work.

Woods is to serve 12 months suspended for 12 months with an additional 120 hours of unpaid work, and Clelland received an 8-month sentence suspended for 18 months, also with 120 hours of unpaid work.

Investigators found that Carter and Elliott controlled the mobile phone numbers used to distribute ‘flare messages’ to drug addicts in the area, offering to supply them with illegal drugs.

The pair issued orders to those who worked for them, with Woods assisting Carter, while Clelland drove the line to and from Chester to facilitate the supply.

Davidson allowed his home on Cemlyn Close to be used as a secure base for producing and packaging crack cocaine and heroin for delivery.

In a successful culmination to months of diligent investigation, officers tracked down the gang’s whereabouts and arrested Carter, Elliott, Woods, Clelland, and Davidson between Saturday 7 January and Tuesday 17 January 2021.

They were all subsequently charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Stuart Needham, of Chester Proactive CID, said: “This is a fantastic result, not only are five drug dealers now facing the consequences of their criminality, but we were also able to remove a large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin from the streets of our town.

“During our enquiries it was clear that these men were all part of a well-established organised crime gang who were responsible for dealing large quantities of illegal drugs in the Chester area.

“Thanks to our detailed investigation we were able to bring the men to justice, leaving them with no option but to plead guilty to all of the offences.

“While this gang are now behind bars, out fight against illegal drugs continues and as part of this we need support from local residents. We need the public to be our eyes and ears and to come forward with information regarding drug dealing in the areas they live in.

“If you have any information about illegal drug activity or any other criminal activity taking place, please report it to us on 101, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, and we will do the rest.”

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