Morecambe drug dealing conspiracy smashed as three men jailed
Three men linked to a heroin and cocaine dealing ring in Morecambe have been given lengthy jail terms after a "County Lines" drug probe.
Damien Ivory, 23, of Basil Street, Bradford, Tanaka Mutambirwa, 25, of no fixed address, and Jayden Williams-Jeffrey, 25, of Allerton Road, Bradford, admitted two counts of conspiring to supply class A drugs in the resort.
Jailing them, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: "Manifestly large and easy profits were sought from trading on the misery of the wretched addicts of Morecambe and its surroundings."
Preston's Sessions House Court heard Ivory, also known as ‘T’, was the main Morecambe drug dealer, installed as a manager to run operations on the ground.
The sheer amount of drugs in the resort meant Tanaka Mutambirwa, 25, of no fixed address, would sometimes travel to Lancashire to buy some drugs from Ivory to sell back in Huddersfield, Yorkshire - on one occasions taking £2,000 worth.
Marketing text messages were sent out to up to 174 people at a time saying things like: "T will be back in Morecambe so clean that pipe" and "brown oil three for £25" - a marketing exercise the judge described as "cynical, vicious and skillfully done" with "some cunning and expertise".
Prosecuting, Paul Brookwell said during the investigation incriminating mobile phones were found on all three men.
In addition, 18 knotted bags containing a total of 2.24g of heroin - with a street value of £180 - were found at Ivory's mother's home.
The same men were cleared of involvement in the attempted murder of Elizabeth Harrison, 29, who suffered serious facial injuries when a firearm was discharged at an address on Buttermere Avenue, Morecambe, on December 2, but were arrested over the drug offences as a result of that earlier probe.
Ivory was jailed for five years and three months, Mutambirwa for seven years, and Williams-Jeffrey for seven years and five months
Judge Knowles QC said the defendants had made a "concerted attempt to move in on the heroin and cocaine trade in Morecambe.
He added: "It was an attempt met with considerable success until it was stopped by event a about four weeks in.
"It was the intention that the conspiracy would continue to be executed with ever increasing success."
He accepted there was no evidence a local youth or child were exploited, or a vulnerable person's premises were taken over, as in other County Lines set ups, but said they had set up business in "a seaside town with all manner of social and economic difficulties".
Text messages indicated they had runners on street whom the judge said "must have been engaged by pressure, influence, intimidation or reward."