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Gloucestershire Business News

Major drug dealer put behind bars

A "Mr Big" drug dealer who organised and co-ordinated the supply of cocaine and heroin in Cheltenham from his home in London was jailed for 11 years today.

Stefan Miller, 29, of Larch Close, Wandsworth, London, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin between 1st April and 30th June last year.

He was also convicted of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply on 5th December last year, as investigators found the trail led to his address in London.

The court heard that he had teenage "drug runners" in Cheltenham. He would arrange for taxis, hotel rooms and co-ordinate the supply of drugs remotely.

Prosecutor, Janine Wood, told Judge Ian Lawrie QC at Gloucester crown court that Miller had a leading role in a "dangerous drug network."

"He is co-ordinating a number of people from a remote location. He's the person in control. There was a substantial amount of drugs seized," she said.

A raid of his home in December last year yielded class A drugs with an estimated street value of £106,300

Mrs Wood told the judge that Miller had previous convictions for the supply of drugs in 2008 and 2016.

Representing Miller, Neil Fitzgibbon, argued that whilst the case was serious, there were other cases where the value of drugs ran into "hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions.

"Of course it is serious," he conceded, "Counties are destroyed, lives are destroyed," but he argued this was not the most serious case a court would deal with.

"A substantial prison term is about to be imposed. He has a very poor past," Mr Fitzgibbon said. "This defendant is going to be incarcerated for many years.

"His family are respectable people, and he has a two year old daughter. I hope you won't extinguish all possibility that he may have the opportunity of joy with his daughter.

"I have to take a realistic view and say he was doing this to make money," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The judge said "He engages in a trade that perpetuates misery."

This involved the "exploitation of vulnerable people - youths or those shackled to addictions," said the judge.

"The broad strategic aim of dangerous drug networks is to channel drugs in to 'softer areas'. In my judgement you are towards the top end of that supply process," the judge told Miller.

He said Miller had "trusted lieutenants" who he directed.

"You had control and direction of this operation. You were clearly directing and organising the sale of drugs on commercial scale.

"You had young foot soldiers in Gloucestershire. There was an expectation of substantial financial gain, as you were undoubtedly organising transport of drugs on a large scale.

"There was clear exploitation of youths under the age of eighteen. I reject you contention that you didn't know they were under 18.

"This is a trade in human misery. There is limited mitigation," the judge said noting that although Miller was a father "the knowledge of your partner's pregnancy did not stop you offending.

"The gravity of your offending is that it easily exceeds the minimum term," the judge said.

Miller was sentenced to a total of eleven years jail, and was also made subject to a serious crime prevention order to commence on his release and last for five years.

The judge commended the police saying "I was impressed by the attention to detail of the investigating officers."

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