A group of Scarborough drug dealers who used local children to do their running have been sentenced following a North Yorkshire Police investigation.
Bradley Mark Taylor, 21, of no fixed address but previously of Prospect Crescent, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. He was jailed for four and a half years.
Alfie Damien Bailey, 20, of Maple Drive, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine, MDMA and cannabis. He was jailed for 42 months.
Ben Freer, 25, of Seamer Road, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and was jailed for 43 months.
Kyle Blades-Wilkinson, 20, of Colescliffe Road, Scarborough pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and received a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Scott Simpson, 31, of Long Westgate, Scarborough, allowed the group to use his flat to deal the drugs. He pleaded guilty to permitting premises to be used for supply of class A drugs. He received a two-year community order.
The group’s methods mirrored those used by so-called ‘county lines’ drug dealers from out of the area. From recruiting children to do their running, to advertising through a deal line to local users. But in this case, they targeted their home town, frequenting the Barrowcliff Estate and selling to Scarborough drug users, many of whom were vulnerable addicts.
Officers were able to show that the deal line, known as the “P” line, was operating in Scarborough using different numbers for different (slightly overlapping) periods of time throughout 2020.
The line was operated primarily by Bradley Taylor, although in August and September the line was manned by Blades-Wilkinson, and in October and November by Alfie Bailey.
Drugs including heroin and crack cocaine were regularly advertised for sale in Scarborough through mass text messaging.
Investigation officer, Detective Constable Darrel Temple, of Scarborough CID, said: This case identified that Taylor, Freer, Bailey and Blades-Wilkinson were actively involved in the onward supply of heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of Scarborough over a significant period of time.
“They were found to be exploiting young, impressionable males from the local area to conduct tasks such as topping up deal phones and acting as street runners.
“Taylor, Freer and Bailey were shown to be acting in a lead role in orchestrating the operation with Blades-Wilkinson in a role below them taking direction on the ground. Simpson allowed his flat to be used by the group as a base for their drug dealing operation.
“The investigation shows that it is not only gangs from outside of Scarborough that prey on the weak and vulnerable by using their addiction to make money for themselves, but also those local to Scarborough.
“We’ll continue to disrupt the supply of drugs in the town and bring individuals to justice who bring misery to the people of Scarborough.
“Information from members of the public is vital and we urge anyone with information about drug dealing, or if you suspect someone is being exploited, to contact the police or Crimestoppers if you wish to remain anonymous.”
Signs of “cuckooing” (when drug dealers take over a vulnerable person’s home) to look out for include:
- Increased callers at a property
• Increase in cars pulling up for short periods of time
• Different accents at a property
• Increased antisocial behaviour at a property
• Not seeing the resident for long periods of time
• Unfamiliar vehicles at the property
• Windows covered or curtains closed for long periods
• Communal doors propped open
Please also look out for the signs that a young person you know might be exploited by drug dealers:
- Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area;
• Unexplained money, clothes, or mobile phones
• Excessive receipt of texts / phone calls
• Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups
• Leaving home / care without explanation
• Suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries
• Carrying weapons
• Significant decline in school results / performance
• Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks
• Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being
Call the police on 101 or visit our website for partner agencies who can offer help and support Young people and drugs – where to get help – North Yorkshire Police | North Yorkshire Police
Call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you prefer not to speak to the police and wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you or another person is in immediate danger, always call 999.Posted on in News stories