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Gloucestershire Business News

Stroud drug dealer caught topping up business phone

A 20-year-old Stroud heroin and cocaine dealer caught after he was seen in a Tesco store 'topping up' the pay-as-you-go phone he used for his illegal business is to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court later this month.

Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday (January 11) that Regan Medford, 20, of Wheelers Walk, Paganhill, Stroud was arrested after being identified on CCTV as he topped up the phone in Tesco Express.

Prosecutor Rachel Stitt said Gloucestershire Police had received information last November that suspected drug dealers were using a specific phone line operating in the Stroud area.

"The police believe that this drugs line had sent some 4,060 bulk messages to potential users and that the pay as you go number was being topped up at Tesco Express in Stratford Road in Stroud," she said.

"Police obtained CCTV of one of these transactions on October 4, 2021 from which Medford was later identified.

"Police then conducted a surveillance of known drug users in the Stroud area and spotted Medford leaving a property in Matthews Way, Stroud and later arrested him at his home address.

"Medford's home was searched and the phone being used for drug dealing was located and seized along with 55 individual wraps of both heroin and cocaine in the lounge around and £380 in cash found in the bedroom.

"Medford was taken into custody for questioning and when he was strip searched he was found with 11 wraps of class A drugs hidden in his underwear.

"The total amount of drugs seized from Medford is estimated to be valued at around £1,620."

Clare Buckley, defending, reminded the magistrates that their sentencing powers would be inadequate because any sentence imposed is likely to be more than 12 months and that the case should be committed to the crown court.

"Under the circumstances there is no application for bail," she said.

Medford pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine to others between September 1, 2021 and Jan 10, 2022.

He also admitted to possessing a quantity of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply to others on January 10, 2022 in Stroud.

Presiding justice Peter Gray told Medford: "You've pleaded guilty to the four charges today and as you've heard, this bench does not have jurisdiction in this case. Accordingly, this hearing will be adjourned until January 28 at Gloucester Crown Court."

The magistrates remanded Medford in custody and ordered that a pre-sentence report be prepared.

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