Thousands of pounds confiscated from head of Warwickshire county lines drugs operation
The head of a ‘county lines’ drug-dealing operation which trafficked drugs worth more than £400,000 into Warwickshire, had been left with only the cash seized from him, a judge has heard.
Meshach Duncan was jailed for ten years and four months earlier this year after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
During the trial at Warwick Crown Court of several other people for their roles in it, the conspiracy was said to have involved the supply of drugs worth a total of £402,800.
Duncan, described as the brains behind the drug ring, was jailed in July – but a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation into his finances.
And at the resumed hearing, prosecutor Simon Foster said it was agreed Duncan’s benefit from his involvement in the plot to supply drugs in the Warwick and Leamington area had been £50,000.
But the only amount he had available was the £2,415 seized from him following his arrests during two police operations codenamed Bushey 1 and Bushey 2, said Mr Foster.
So Judge Anthony Potter ordered that the £2,415 should be confiscated as the proceeds of crime and paid within three months.
Although it was a technicality, because the police still have the cash, he ordered Duncan (31) of Weeford Drive, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, to serve six months in jail if it is not paid within that time.
At the previous hearing prosecutor Daniel Wright had explained: “Bushey 1 was a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine from Birmingham to the Leamington and Warwick area. The head of the organisation was Meshach Duncan.”
Bushey 1 operated from February 2015 until October the following year and involved 308 drug runs between Birmingham and Warwickshire.
Bushey 2 was the follow-on operation between February and November 2017, with Leamington woman Rebecca Manix involved in 98 of 121 drug runs carried out.
Mr Wright said that based on the seizures carried out when the police intercepted seven of the drug runs, Bushey 1 had involved around 1.32 kilos of heroin and 554 grams of crack.
And Bushey 2 would have involved about 522 grams of heroin and 375 grams of crack, taking the total street value of the drugs trafficked in the two operations to around £402,800.
Duncan was the ringleader of the operation, with his nephew Dajon Donaldson carrying out some drug runs and deputising for him when he was away, including taking a holiday to Mexico.
Before he was sentenced, Duncan’s barrister Gurdeep Garcha said he was an intelligent man, with 11 GCSEs and 4 A-levels, and had lawful employment as a trade plate driver.
“He was able to live two lives.
Having got involved in these circles, and seeing the amount of money involved, greed took over and he found it hard to resist,” Mr Garcha had added.