Two men responsible for bringing crack cocaine and heroin to Ellesmere Port from Merseyside have been jailed.
Dale Johnson, 30, of Tranmere and Stephen Sailes, 45, of Great Sutton appeared at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 10 March where they pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the drug supply.
Johnson was handed three years and 10 months while Sailes received three years and four months imprisonment.
The court heard how the ‘Boris’ County Lines Team had been operating in Ellesmere Port from 14 January to 8 February 2022 with an estimated turnover between £20,800 and £41,600.
Plain clothed officers on patrol in Festival Park on 8 February spotted a drug user who looked like he was waiting for someone and then Sailes who was cycling towards them.
Officers stopped Sailes and searched him, finding a small wrap of brown powder in his left hand.
He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
A warrant was then issued to search Sailes flat, inside officers discovered clear bags containing white and brown powder along with a quantity of cash and a mobile phone.
Also inside the flat was Johnson who was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
While in custody he told officers that he had drugs inside him which were later retrieved.
A further warrant was executed at Johnson’s address in Tranmere, Wirral with officers seizing more than £2,000 in cash, scales and cannabis.
Examinations of the phones seized revealed Johnson had WhatsApp conversations about his supply in Ellesmere Port, describing how he had been earning £800 to £1,600 a day.
There were a number of ‘flare’ messages advertising the sale of drugs also found on another mobile device.
Sailes and Johnson were subsequently charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
Detective Constable Stuart Wood of Ellesmere Port proactive team said, “Johnson and Sailes thought they could establish a county lines supply into the heart of the town yet little did they know we were hot on their trail.
“While being questioned, Johnson claimed that the money made was from the legitimate sale of puppies and not from the sale of crack cocaine and heroin.
“We were able to provide a catalogue of evidence against both Sailes and Johnson in order to put them before the courts which led them to plead guilty to the offences put to them.
“Illegal drugs can have a devastating impact on not only drug users, but the community around them.
“In Ellesmere Port, we are doing all we can to stop drug activity on our streets to make the town a safer place to live and visit while also making it extremely difficult for these gangs to operate.
“We will always act on any information about drug activity provided to us and would urge anyone who believes this activity is happening near to them, to please contact Cheshire Police.”
Image: (L-R) Stephen Sailes and Dale Johnson