Illegal drugs gang admit roles in operation

Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre.
Preston Crown Court in Preston city centre.

A court has heard how six men and a woman were involved in a “large scale commercial operation” to peddle illegal drugs in north Lancashire.

Brendan Harrington, 31, of Longmire Way, Morecambe, and Keiron Webster, 26, of Schola Green Lane, Morecambe were branded as having a “leading role”, suspected to have been involved in buying and selling on a commercial scale.

Anthony Santana, 23, of Mears Beck Close, Heysham, and Maurice Hryniw, 47, of Yorkshire Street, Morecambe, were said to have had significant roles with “some awareness of the scale of the operation”.

Alex Hargreaves, 44, of Queen’s Drive, Bare, is alleged to have used a “taxi” to facilitate drug deals but is said to have played a “lesser role”.

The court heard police stopped his taxi on April 2 last year and arrested Hargreaves and Santana - with several packets of drugs found in the car, tied into condoms.

Couple Scott Wood, 25, of Carleton Street, Morecambe, and Emma Archer, 23, of Roseberry Avenue, Morecambe, were arrested after a raid at her home in which an industrial drugs press and equipment was found.

They are said to have played a “lesser role”.

Preston Crown Court heard all had admitted various roles within the conspiracy.

During their sentencing – which is expected to last two days – prosecutor Peter Barr read out phone evidence to Preston Crown Court linking the defendants.

He said: “The drugs were sourced from either Manchester or Liverpool and a mixing agent from West Yorkshire.

“Detailed analysis of the mobile phones used by the defendants has shown a total of 33 trips to Liverpool, Manchester or Yorkshire.

“These trips, the prosecution maintain, are related to the supply of controlled drugs.

“While the defendants do not accept involvement in each and every journey, the Crown says the number of journeys alone indicates the scale and sophisticated nature of this operation.”

The hearing continues tomorrow, Wednesday.