A MULTI-million-pound conspiracy co-run by a Rugby man to supply cocaine across the Midlands – including to Leamington and Warwick – has been thwarted after a man and two women who denied being involved were convicted by a jury.
Lewis Mowatt has now been remanded in custody while pre-sentence reports are prepared on Stacie Burdett and Caroline Dalley, who were both granted bail.
Mowatt, 29, of Lighthorne Heath, and Daventry women Burdett, 34, and Dalley, 55, had all denied conspiring to supply cocaine.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found all three guilty, and also convicted Burdett of charges of possessing illegal firearms.
The jury heard that Rugby man Christopher Reeve was in charge of directing the distribution and sale of huge quantities of cocaine which led to the seizure of just under £1million worth of the drugs at a house in Daventry.
But that was just a fraction of the staggering 100-plus kilos, worth up to £3.5million, which prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said had passed through the hands of the conspirators.
Several other people, including Reeve, 43, of Montgomery Drive, Rugby, said to have been one of two men directing the drugs operation, had pleaded guilty, showing there was a conspiracy.
Mr Grieves-Smith said: “Lewis Mowatt, Stacie Burdett and Caroline Dalley are not addicts, and nor was Christopher Reeve and his wife Sarah, David Burdett and Garvey Thompson. They were in it for the money.
“Drugs were purchased from someone in Liverpool, and a courier would drive back to the Rugby area or to Daventry.
“It would be divided up by couriers who would then deliver to Leamington, Warwick, Coventry and Nottingham.”
In August 2018, Mowatt and Sarah Reeve travelled to Liverpool, having been told where to go by Christopher Reeve.
Previously Thomas Bash, 77, of Wortley Close, Rugby – who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy – had made the trips, but was on holiday at the time.
They were arrested on the A5 near Rugby with three kilos of cocaine – which had a street value of around £400,000 if converted into crack cocaine.
The prosecution said they intended to go to the Daventry home of Caroline Dalley, the mother of Stacie Burdett and mother-in-law of David Burdett.
There, police found class A drugs worth a little under £1million.
Mr Grieves-Smith said David and Stacie Burdett moved a camper trailer to a field not far from their canal boat home within two hours of the raid.
In it, police found more drugs and ‘a significant quantity of firearms’ which David Burdett has admitted possessing, but which Stacie Burdett denied.
Mr Grieves-Smith observed: “Selling drugs is a cut-throat business. They ensure payment by sticking a gun in someone’s face.”
Of the drugs conspiracy, he told the jury: “Christopher Reeve lives with Sarah at an address in Rugby. The prosecution say he, together with Garvey Thompson from Birmingham, were at the very top of this conspiracy.
“Sarah Reeve was not at the same level, but was ready and willing to assist when required, and Christopher Reeve and Sarah Reeve were good friends of the Burdetts.”
Thompson was a serving prisoner at the time, but gave orders via a mobile phone, and was mainly involved with dealers in Leamington – including Tony Wilshire, 29, from Bishops Tachbrook, who has also admitted the conspiracy charge.
Of other connections, Mowatt at the time was the partner of Sarah Reeve’s sister and made ‘voluble trips’ to collect and deliver drugs.