Four 'transported Class A drugs to Plymouth'
FOUR men have gone on trial accused of transporting cocaine and heroin worth hundreds of thousands of pounds from Liverpool to Plymouth.
Wayne Harle-Stephens, aged 56, Carl Barlow, aged 22, Elliot Barlow, aged 24, and 30-year-old Stephen Kearns were part of a gang which moved kilos of Class A drugs to be sold on the streets of the city, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
They helped organise and meet couriers who made more than a hundred trips by car to bring drugs to Plymouth, prosecutors claim.
But police intercepted and arrested three couriers and used mobile phone and other evidence to implicate other gang members, a jury heard. Nine people, mostly from Plymouth and Merseyside, have already admitted plotting to deal drugs and are awaiting sentence.
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Simon Laws, opening the case for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This case is about an organised gang of criminals who decided to bring substantial amounts of Class A drugs from Liverpool to Plymouth and to sell them on the streets."
Harle-Stephens, of The Parade, The Barbican; Carl Barlow, of Savage Road, St Budeaux; his brother Elliot Barlow, of Lenham Way, Liverpool; and Kearns, of Hornby Place, Liverpool, have all denied conspiring with named others to supply Class A drugs between January 1 2011 and May 29 2012.
Mr Laws said Harle-Stephens was "involved in the business" of drug dealing in Plymouth and the deliveries of cocaine and heroin.
He added Carl Barlow, originally from Liverpool, was a "significant figure in the retail side of the operation" and was involved in meeting consignments of drugs coming into Plymouth.
Mr Laws said Elliot Barlow was often a passenger in a car being driven by one of the couriers going up and down the M5.
He added that Kearns, an associate of Harle-Stephens, was heavily involved in the movement of drugs between the two cities, having connections with four couriers.
Mr Laws said police stopped a man called Lee Ellis driving a Vauxhall Corsa on the M5 near Exeter in the early hours of February 9 last year.
Officers found heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine with a street value of £165,000 hidden in a specially-adapted compartment, the court heard.
The haul included three kilos of cocaine in six packages each worth £20,000 and 1,392 wraps or individual deals of crack cocaine.
Mr Laws said the Corsa belonged to Harle-Stephens. He added that when his home was searched, police found electronic scales bearing a residue of heroin.
Mr Laws said a second courier, Allison Bates, was stopped driving south on the M5 with 50 grams of crack cocaine worth £5,000 on April 30, 2011. He said she made 20 trips between Liverpool and Plymouth.
Mr Laws said: "This represented more than £100,000 of business in a few weeks of hard driving between January and April."
Mr Laws said another courier, John Cavanagh, had made more than 80 trips between the two cities. He added Elliot Barlow was his passenger on more than 20 occasions.
Mr Laws said Carl Barlow was caught with a phone used by known addicts to order cocaine and heroin.
Harle-Stephens is charged with possessing half a kilo of cannabis with intent to supply on February 9 last year. He has pleaded not guilty.
The trial, due to last four weeks, continues.