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Gloucestershire Business News

It's not my phone, says Gloucester man accused of using mobile to sell drugs

A 34-year-old Podsmead man caught with a mobile phone containing drug dealing messages claims it belonged to his late cousin, a Gloucester crown court jury was told today.

Elijah Sutherland of Keats Avenue, Podsmead is alleged to have used the tag name Enzo to send out bulk messages to addicts claiming he was "active" and had "D and W" for sale - well known abbreviations for heroin and crack cocaine.

The prosecution say Sutherland was dealing drugs between the 1st August and the 13th September last year, supplying crack cocaine and heroin to two men, Liam Taylor and Chase Nield, who have been charged separately with their alleged involvement.

The phone contained messages between Taylor and Enzo - Sutherland - discussing what drugs were available and making arrangements to meet for handovers, said prosecutor Caighli Taylor.

Police discovered the phone on 14th August last year when events led them to Liam Taylor's home address, she said.

"Liam Taylor admitted the phone was his and provided the PIN code" Miss Taylor told the court.

"On the phone there were text messages between Mr Taylor and Enzo. We say Enzo is the defendant and he was supplying Class A drugs."

Outlining some of the messages found, Miss Taylor said on 4th August a message from Enzo to Liam Taylor read "Active. Deals available. No W until 2pm, sorry. Enzo."

Later that day Liam Taylor replied "Any W there yet?"

"Enzo replied White bk. Enzo" said Miss Taylor.

That day the messages went on making plans to meet up and Liam Taylor letting Enzo know he was at the meeting place.

In the evening more messages were exchanged confirming "more W was available."

"D and W are well-known slang terms for heroin and crack cocaine. Heroin is dark and cocaine is white" the prosecutor told the court.

"The prosecution say this demonstrates Enzo facilitating the supply of drugs to Liam" Miss Taylor said.

The court heard that between 26th July and 7th September bulk texts were sent from the Enzo line. The message sent to Liam Taylor on 4th August was part of a bulk text also sent to 63 other recipients.

"The prosecution say these messages were to advertise drugs are available. Active is a well-known term to let people know that stock has been replenished" Miss Taylor told the court.

"The prosecution also say it is clearly not just one he had drugs available. It goes beyond that. Looking at the messages they carry on. Messages continue to Liam Taylor until the 14th August where he is arrested and indeed beyond that but obviously Liam's phone was seized by then."

Sutherland has claimed the phone belonged to his late cousin who died in September 2018 but the prosecution say that the evidence shows that the private phone he was using travelled to and from the same locations as the 'Enzo' line.

"He says there were occasions he borrowed the phone, he accepted he used it but has denied being involved in the supply of drugs" Miss Taylor said.

Sutherland has pleaded not guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine between 1st August and 13th September last year. He has also denied possessing cash and 'consumer goods' which were the proceeds of crime.

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