A woman who took part in “a busy and successful retail business” selling class A drugs worth up to £280,000 in Rugby has been jailed.
Anne-Marie Hughes, 38, of Victoria Avenue, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine and producing cannabis.
It had been alleged that Hughes “organised the retail distribution” of drugs from her home and another address, and that Paul Turner was her “trusted co-conspirator”.
But Hughes insisted she played a secondary role to 39-year-old Turner, of Oxford Street, Rugby, who was jailed for six-and-a-half years in November last year.
And following a ‘trial of issue’ at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Robert Orme decided Hughes had played a secondary role, and jailed her for five-and-a-half years.
Also jailed with Turner in November were Dean Tapp, 33, of Oxford Street, who got five years, and Shaun Lal, 48, of Vere Road, Hillmorton, who got four-and-a-half years after they had admitted conspiracy.
Jason Kessna, 41, of Oxford Street at the time, was jailed for four years; and 33-year-old Adam Peck of Epsom Road, Rugby, for two-and-a-half years after they had admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin.
But Turner’s girlfriend at the time, prison officer Samantha Goodall, 41, of Glebe Crescent, Rugby, who also admitted being concerned to the supply of heroin, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do unpaid work.
At the original hearing prosecutor Tim Green alleged that Hughes “organised the retail distribution of cocaine and heroin from two domestic properties in Rugby”.
He said Hughes, who had a previous conviction for drug trafficking but was not a drug-user herself, dealt from her own home and from Oxford Street.
Both addresses were used for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine to a stream of callers.
Drugs were sourced in Birmingham, and between September 2009 and February 2010 Hughes, Turner and Goodall made 36 trips there between them in three vehicles.
On February 3 Goodall was filmed as she drove Turner to a car park in Aston where he was handed “significant supplies of drugs” which he then took to Hughes’s home.
Most of the actual dealing took place from the house in Oxford Street where Turner, Tapp and Kessna were living in separate bedsits at the time.
Police arrested Hughes at her home on February 10 as she waited for Turner and Goodall, who were arrested after pulling up outside as they returned with 53 grams of heroin and 27.6 grams of crack with a total street value of around £8,000.
Mr Green added it had been “a busy and successful business” which the police calculated involved the supply of drugs with a value of up to £280,000.