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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbrian drugs gang member nine admits his part

A NINTH man has admitted his part in a drug-dealing conspiracy following two separate undercover police investigations into the supply of drugs in Cumbria.

Steven John Smith, 31, of Towncroft, Dearham, Maryport, had previously tried to have the charges against him thrown out by a judge at Carlisle Crown Court.

But yesterday – halfway through an application to have the charges dismissed – he changed his mind and pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to supply both cocaine, a class A drug, and methcathinone, a class B drug. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced later.

Eight other men – who like Smith were arrested as a result of police operations code-named Silkworm and Adder – had previously pleaded guilty to a variety of drugs charges.

Roger Joseph Fox, 37, of Greta Avenue, Morton, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to supply cocaine, a class A drug, between February 14 2012 and April 7 2012.

Martin Smith, 30, of Grange Avenue, Flimby, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply a quantity of methcathinone or its derivatives, between March 1 and May 22 2012.

Grant Robertson, 27, of Barepot, Workington, pleaded guilty to the same charge. He also admitted possessing 212 counterfeit £1 coins.

Michael Britland, 29, of McMinn Avenue, St Helens, Merseyside, admitted conspiring to supply cocaine.

Andrew Robinson, 32, of Yew Bank Lane, Whitehaven, pleaded guilty to possessing the class B drug mephedrone.

Clint Tinsley, 33, of Ashburn Grove, St Helens, Tinsley admitted conspiring to supply cocaine.

Stephen Neill, 34, of Kirkstone Close, Kendal, pleaded guilty to conspiring with others unknown to supply cocaine, between February 14 and April 7 2012.

Luke Babester, 39, from Milnthorpe near Kendal pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine, between January 1 and February 14 2010, and to conspiring to supply the same drug between February 14 and April 7 2012.

He also admitted being concerned in a money laundering operation by allowing money relating to the supply of drugs to pass through Kendal MOT and Service Centre so that vehicles purchased with such money could be registered and insured by the business between August 1 2010 and April 7 2012. He further admitted converting money made from the supply of drugs from January 1 2010 and April 7 2012.

Yesterday the last defendant – Angela Clark, 52, of Robert Owen Avenue, Cleator Moor – maintained her not guilty pleas to the charges she faced.

Clark, who was in a car, allegedly with £30,000-worth of drugs when it was stopped in Appleby on April 25, has denied possessing the class B drug 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone with intent to supply it; being concerned, on April 25 2012, in the supply of methcathinone or its derivatives, and possessing a quantity of amphetamine.

She has also denied conspiring with others to supply methcathinone as well as possessing 212 counterfeit £1 coins. She was remanded on bail and will go on trial on November 26.

Those who have pleaded guilty were remanded for pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced in late November.

Robinson, Clark and Martin Smith have been allowed bail, but the rest are being held in custody.

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