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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Police tailed drugs suppliers, Carlisle court told

A combination of police surveillance and hi-tech investigation methods was used to crack a criminal gang intent on supplying drugs on an industrial scale a court has heard.

James Moore, 33, of Forge Hill Park in Workington, denies assisting in the supply of class A or B drugs and appeared at Carlisle Crown Court at the start of his trial yesterday.

He is accused alongside Dale Cooke, 32, of Reins Road in Brighouse, Yorkshire, who also denies conspiracy to supply class A drugs between May and July 2013.

Alex Leach, prosecuting, told the court that 10 members of the gang had already admitted their guilt as part of the conspiracy – but that did not automatically mean that Moore and Cooke were also guilty.

He said that the operation had supplied class A and B drugs on an “industrial scale” across the north of England.

Mr Leach said that police had tracked the movements of several gang members on June 11 last year using the radio towers used by their mobile phones, as well as information obtained from seized devices.

He added that Cooke had access to a high purity cocaine and he had provided that drug to member of the gang who pleaded guilty last December.

“James Moore played a supporting role,” he said. “On June 11 [last year] he travelled from Workington to Newcastle and back to courier drugs.

“That’s the case against them.”

Mr Leach said that earlier that day several members of the gang had travelled from Workington across the country for a first drug deal in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

He said police had been trailing them and the jury was shown a number of surveillance photographs as well as an outline of a “flurry of telephone calls” and texts between gang members.

When they were at Keighley the gang’s second-in-command contacted Moore while the first shipment was being transported back to Workington by taxi.

Mr Leach said that between 4pm and 6pm Moore travelled from west Cumbria to the North East and added: “During his journey they were in repeated contact.”

He added that police were able to trace Moore’s progress because he was using his red work’s van which he did not realise was fitted with a vehicle tracking device.

Again the jury was shown police photos of the two vehicles parked together on a slip road of the A1 and Mr Leach said: “The only explanation for that meeting was that it was for the supply of controlled drugs.”

The trial continues and both men were granted conditional bail.

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