SIX men who were involved in drug-dealing operations which plagued Rugby’s Brownsover estate for months have been given prison sentences totalling more than 20 years.
Even children at a local school knew drugs could be obtained from the addresses at the centre of the trade in heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.
And Warwick Crown Court heard that even after the police closed down an operation centred on Colin Jones’s Brownsover home, he and Jovan Sleem simply opened up again at another address.
Jones, 50, of Grizedale, Brownsover, at the time; Sleem, 31, of no fixed address, but formerly of Bridget Street, Rugby; and Anthony Jones, 32, of Borrowdale, Brownsover, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Philip Wilson, 23, of Whernside, Brownsover, and Nathan Barden, 23, of Conniston Close, Brownsover, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis.
Jordan Jones, 24, of Ennerdale, Brownsover, admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, possessing a prohibited CS gas spray and being in breach of a suspended prison sentence.
Colin Jones was jailed for five years and four months, Sleem for four years and ten months, and Anthony Jones, who also admitted an assault on his partner, for six years.
Observing that Barden and Wilson were involved in ‘a closed conspiracy’ to supply cannabis, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC jailed Barden for 20 months and Wilson for 18 months.
And Jordan Jones was jailed for nine months for his part in supplying cannabis – consecutive to 12 months of his suspended sentence which he was also ordered to serve.
With those six in the dock was Stuart Pule, 22, of Thirlmere, Brownsover, who was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and made subject to an electronically-tagged curfew after he had admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply it.
Prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said the Brownsover estate had a long-standing history of drug use and dealing – particularly of heroin and cocaine, but also cannabis.
As a result the police set up a covert operation in 2014 centred on Colin Jones’s home and that of his nephew Jordan Jones, who lived with his parents in Ennerdale, and where his half-brother Anthony Jones still had a room.
Officer who kept watch on the house in Grizedale in June that year saw a large number of people visiting to buy drugs, as well as people leaving the address to supply drugs.
One of those was Wilson who was seen passing cannabis to a woman holding a baby at nearby Turpin House, and he was also seen leaving the house with a phone and a white bag and returning without the bag.
Anthony Jones and Sleem were also seen taking part in the drug-dealing activity at Colin Jones’s home – and on the same day Jordan Jones was stopped with a small amount of cannabis on him.
After similar activity was recorded the following month, Colin Jones and Barden was arrested in the house where 28 grams of heroin was seized.
Barden’s phone was seized from him and found to contain requests for drugs, replies to those and directions to others to supply the drugs in question.
Following his arrest Colin Jones, who was said to be ‘a supplier to others who were themselves suppliers,’ was found to have 14 deals of crack cocaine on him, and he told officers he was only doing it to make “a bit of money”.
He later explained he had been dealing in class A drugs for some time, selling about 20 deals a night, and would be paid £2 for every one he sold.
Pule was caught after making off from the rear of the house, and in a shoulder bag he had two packages of skunk cannabis worth £180 and two phones on which there were messages in which he was directing the supply of cannabis.
Jordan Jones was arrested in his bedroom at Ennerdale, where skunk cannabis was found in the garage and cocaine was found in Anthony’s bedroom, as well as various quantities of cash.
Mr Sandhu said the heroin and crack conspiracy continued from an address in Thorneside, Brownsover, after Colin Jones had been granted bail but evicted from his home – until that house was also raided in September.
The court heard Colin Jones, whose most serious previous conviction was a rape for which he was jailed for eight years in 1985, had been jailed for two years in 2010 for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
Anthony Jones’s convictions included possessing heroin and crack cocaine in 2007 for which he appeared at Warwick Crown Court and was jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Sentencing the seven, Judge Lockhart said: “In the summer of 2014 all of you became involved in the supply of controlled drugs in the Brownsover area of Rugby.
“This is an area where people came to seek drugs, and it is a problem for the local community. There were a large number of reports of drug-dealing activity at 5 Grizedale and 7 Ennerdale, which caused local upset and problems.
“This had a significant impact in the community. Those who seek drugs commit offences including theft from shops and burglary to get funds to support their habits.
“Drugs have a corrosive effect, and young people, some as young as 15, were coming to the address. Word was going round in local schools that drugs were available at the address.”
Commenting drugs worth a total of around £4,500 had been seized in the police raids, he added after Colin Jones had been granted bail, he and Sleem continued to be involved in ‘a prolific drug-dealing operation’ at the address in Thorneside.
Judge Lockhart also made orders that cash seized from the defendants should be forfeited under the Misuse of Drugs Act – a total of £4,734 from Antony Jones, £113 from Colin, £870 from Jordan, £282 from Sleem, £620 from Barden and £45 from Pule.