POLICE have brought down a Coventry-based County Lines drugs gang which trafficked drugs of almost £250,000 onto the streets of Warwickshire’s tourist towns.
The group, which even operated through two Covid lockdowns from January 2019 to July last year, are believed to have supplied at least 2.5kg of crack cocaine and heroin into Stratford-upon-Avon and Royal Leamington Spa.
Police investigating the operation found hundreds of marketing messages sent to users from their main ‘drugs hotline’.
Levi Pollard-Mersom, 29, from Widdecombe Close, Coventry, ran the line – which used the brand names Kano and CJ – and exploited addicts to run the drugs, carry out the street deals, and also ‘cuckooed’ homes of vulnerable people to use as supply bases.
Jordan Hill, 31, was another senior member of the gang who managed the deliveries and took orders on the County Line.
Other members included 20-year-old Paul Walker – Pollard-Mersom’s brother – who helped store drugs in Coventry, Lewis Kerr, 29, who acted as transport and ‘muscle’ for the group and was looking to expand the line into Rugby.
Kieron Hill, 23, from Broad Park Road in Coventry, Nell Desnousse, 22, Hasum Makalo, 18, Gary Brown, 19, and 36-year-old Amy Lamb all acted as drugs runners.
Pollard-Mersom, Kieran and Jordan Hill, Lamb, Desnousse and Makalo all admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin, while Walker, from Roseberry Avenue in Coventry, and Kerr were both found guilty following trial.
Brown is already serving a six-year jail sentence for drugs supply and the other eight will be sentenced at a later date.
The investigation was run by the West Midlands Police Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) alongside Warwickshire Police.
ROCU Det Insp Julie Woods, said: “This was a classic County Lines operation – Pollard-Mersom was in charge from a distance, making up to £1,500 per day, and controlled the others through violence, threats and reputation.
“He made most of the money but exposed himself to very little risk while the drug runners faced the very real danger of being attacked with weapons by rival gangs or being arrested on the street.
“During the investigation we recovered more than 1,000 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine plus nearly £10,000 in cash.
“The men in charge of this operation have shown themselves as callous individuals driven by greed and were happy to make money on others’ suffering.”
People can visit west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/county-lines for more on County Lines drugs trafficking and call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they suspect drug-dealing is going on in their area.