A man from Chester who used a network of sub drug dealers to conduct the supply of heroin and crack cocaine on his behalf has been jailed for six years.
Jonathan Henry sent text messages advertising class A drugs for sale on a daily basis between 1 June 2017 and 14 March 2018.
The messages were sent to drug addicts across Chester and Henry, 28, used other people to distribute the drugs for him.
The majority of the drugs were sourced from the Merseyside area and two other men from Chester – Stephen Stenning, 55, and Alex Coote, 34 – acted as sub drug dealers for Henry.
Cheshire Police executed a search warrant at Stenning’s home in Glyn Garth, Blacon, on 19 July 2017 and seized 17 bags of heroin and 13 bags of crack cocaine.
Stenning was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was jailed for two years and four months at Chester Crown Court on 15 September 2017.
On 8 September 2017 officers executed a search warrant at a property on Shelley Road, Blacon. They seized six bags of heroin and 22 bags of crack cocaine and arrested Coote at the address.
He was subsequently charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Coote, of Crabwall Place, Chester, denied the charges but was found guilty by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court and was jailed for three years and three months on 13 July 2018.
Henry’s then home address on Norris Road, Chester, was raided on 14 March 2018. Having previously found him in possession of a mobile phone used to send the text messages advertising drugs for sale and discovered traces of his DNA on the class A drugs seized from Stenning’s home, he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
He was also charged with possessing an air weapon having been banned from doing so for five years.
Henry, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced on Monday 13 August.
Detective Sergeant Andy Smith said: “Drugs have a detrimental impact on our communities and removing those involved in drug dealing from them is of paramount importance at Cheshire Constabulary.
“Officers targeting the supply of class A drugs in Chester are delighted that Henry, Stenning and Coote are now all behind bars and no longer able to blight communities with illegal drugs that have the most harmful effects.
“Henry was the ringleader and Stenning and Coote supplied drugs on his behalf.
“They have been jailed for a total of 11 years and seven months and we hope that this case sends out a clear message to other potential criminals that the use and supply of illegal drugs will not be tolerated in Chester or elsewhere in Cheshire.
“I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved in in the investigation for the dedication and commitment that they have shown in bringing these offenders to justice and severely disrupting the supply of illegal drugs into Chester.
“But the fight against organised criminals continues and I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch. You will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.
“You can report suspected drug dealing to us directly by calling 101 or giving us the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries. Alternatively information can be given anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”
As well as being handed custodial sentences, Henry, Stenning and Coote were all ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.