TWO teenage dealers running a drugs line with contacts throughout Gwent, Cardiff and Barry and in touch with upstream suppliers are behind bars.
Lewis Strickland and Joseph Graham, from Newport, both aged 19, played “significant roles” in the trade of heroin and crack cocaine.
Owen Williams, prosecuting, said evidence gleaned by Gwent Police detectives from the defendants’ mobile phones implicated the pair.
Graham was caught red-handed with heroin and crack cocaine wraps when he was dealing in the Marlborough Road and Eton Road area of Maindee in Newport.
Officers arrested him on April 9, 2020, and this led them on to his partner in crime Strickland, who was living with him at the time.
The police seized their mobile phones and came across more than £1,500 in cash when they searched Graham’s home.
Analysis of the telephones unearthed the extent of their criminal enterprise.
Graham was running a drugs line with contacts in Gwent, Cardiff and Barry and was advertising for drivers to help shift his product.
Strickland meanwhile was speaking with upscale suppliers and “in dispute with them about money owed”.
Mr Williams said: “Graham was controlling and directing drug runners.”
Both defendants pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.
They also admitted possession of criminal property.
Graham pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply and possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply.
Cardiff Crown Court heard how Strickland, of Partridge Way, Duffryn, had three previous convictions which included wounding with intent, aggravated vehicle taking and criminal damage.
Graham, of Cae Brynton Road, had previous convictions for wounding with intent and dangerous driving.
Martha Smith-Higgins, representing Strickland, and Peter Donnison, for Graham, asked for their clients to be given full credit for their guilty pleas.
Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke sentenced Strickland to two years and seven months in a young offender institution and Graham to serve three years.
She told them: “You, Mr Graham had, established your own drugs line and had runners and you, Mr Strickland, were in dispute with upscale suppliers.”
Outside the court, DC Mitchell Harris, from Gwent Police, said: “Strickland and Graham made significant financial gain from their illegal enterprise.
“Illegal drugs have no place on our streets and can cause significant harm.
“We endeavour to disrupt any such activity and bring those involved to justice.”