Ellesmere Port drug dealer jailed for over four years

A county lines drug dealer who was involved in the supply of cocaine into Ellesmere Port has been jailed for over four years.

Keaton Hughes appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday, 7 June, where he was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

The 20-year-old of Ellesmere Port, had earlier admitted to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs (cocaine).

The case began following an investigation launched by Merseyside Police’s Operation Toxic team into the sale of illegal drugs in the town.

With assistance from the Ellesmere Port Proactive Team and Cheshire’s SOCU, officers were able to identify three mobile phone numbers that could be attributed to sending hundreds of daily ‘flare’ messages, advertising the sale of Class A drugs to local users.

Enquiries linked Hughes to the phones and he was arrested on Friday, 3 May, by officers on patrol on Westminster Road, Ellesmere Port.

Upon arrest, he was found to be in possession of a Nokia ‘graft’ phone, that was later found to be one of the phones used in the sale and distribution of cocaine.

A subsequent search of his home revealed two other phones used by Hughes to sell illegal drugs – these matched the mobile phone numbers that were initially identified by officers, evidencing Hughes as the controller of all three ‘graft’ phones.

Following this discovery, Hughes was swiftly charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs (crack cocaine).

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Stuart Wood said, “Hughes thought he was above the law and could operate his drug supply under the radar.

“Unfortunately for him, the Ellesmere Port Proactive Team work tirelessly every day to put criminals like Hughes behind bars, and with the catalogue of evidence gathered against him, he had no choice but to plead guilty.

“Illegal drugs have a hugely detrimental impact on our communities, and they cause untold damage to the lives of both those who use the drugs and become dependent on them and the wider community who suffer from the resulting crime.

“I hope this case, and the fact that Hughes is now facing the consequences of his actions in a jail cell, deters others from getting involved in the supply of illegal drugs.

“Intelligence supplied by members of the public is crucial to this fight and I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch.”

Image: Cheshire Police/Keaton Hughes

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