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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire man used taxis to make drug deliveries around Gloucester

A 23-year-old Tuffley man who used taxis to make heroin and crack cocaine deliveries around Gloucester has been jailed for two years for running a 'county lines' operation in the city.

Prosecutor Neil Treharne told Gloucester Crown Court on Monday (January 29) that police gained intelligence that Jessie Margrett of Arlingham Road was one of two operators of a drug phone line and he was seen topping up its sim card in the city on October 27, 2023.

"The police were aware that this drugs line, and another associated with it, were sending out bulk messages to potential users," Mr Treharne said.

"It came to the investigators' attention that among the bulk text messages were bookings to local taxi companies. Margrett of Arlingham Road was being picked up and dropped off at his home address by cabs.

"On November 13, police observed two known Class A drug users going to Margrett's home address and almost immediately leaving the property and heading for a nearby alleyway. Within a minute, the visitors departed."

The court heard that the police continued to observe Margrett's address and later that day, having obtained a search warrant, they found him inside the property. Margrett was found in possession of quantity of heroin and £100 in cash along with the mobile phone that he had just topped up.

"While he was being quizzed Margrett tried to dispose of a few wraps of cocaine," Mr Treharne said.

"A number of holes were found in the porch, which, because of the residue left behind, were believed to be where he had stored both the crack cocaine and heroin.

"The drugs found were valued in street deals at a total value of just over £1,400. "

Catherine Spedding, defending, said Margrett's guilty pleas were entered on the basis that he was committing the offences to pay off his own drug debt. She further explained that Margrett had been enlisted to deliver drugs to users and the money he received from customers was all passed on to dealers further up the chain.

She added: "Margrett has also supplied three references and a letter he has written to the court. But because he committed this offence, he has since been recalled to prison to serve a previous sentence."

Margrett pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to being concerned in the supply of both drugs between October 13, and November 23, 2023.

Judge Robert Linford told Margrett: "The letter you've written to this court was very impressive, but I still have to impose a custodial sentence of two years. And because of the seriousness of the offence, and that you've already been recalled to prison, I am unable to suspend it."

The judge ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and the deprivation of the cash and for it to be donated to Gloucestershire Police's drug and crime prevention educational programme.

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