Six men involved in drug-dealing that plagued Rugby’s Brownsover estate have been jailed for over 20 years and ordered to hand over thousands of pounds in fines.
The judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that the men’s actions were so prolific even children knew drugs could be bought from the addresses at the centre of the trade in heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis.
The court was also told that even after Warwickshire Police closed down an operation in the Brownsover home of dealer, Colin Jones - he and Jovan Sleem simply opened up again at another address and carried on dealing.
When they were arrested, illegal goods worth around £4,500 were seized from the house which had become notorious for illegal activity.
Colin Jones, 50 of Grizedale, Brownsover; Jovan Sleem, 31 of no fixed address; and Anthony Jones, 32 of Borrowdale all pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Also charged were Philip Wilson, 23 of Whernside; and Nathan Barden, 23 of Conniston Close, who both pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis.
Jordan Jones, 24 of Ennerdale admitted to the supply of cannabis, to possessing a prohibited CS gas spray and being in breach of a suspended prison sentence.
Speaking in court on December 22, prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said: “The Brownsover estate had a long-standing history of drug misuse and sales, particularly of heroin and cocaine, but also of cannabis.”
He told the Leamington court that officers from Warwickshire Police began watching Colin Jones’ the house in 2014 as well as the family home of his nephews Jordan and Anthony Jones in Ennerdale.
A large number of people were seen visiting to buy drugs, including Wilson who was seen passing cannabis to a woman holding a baby at nearby Turpin House.
The court heard that Anthony Jones and Sleem were seen taking part in drug-dealing and Jordan Jones was stopped and found with cannabis on him.
After similar activity was recorded a month later, Colin Jones and Barden were arrested in the house where 28 grams of heroin was seized.
Police seized Barden’s phone where they found requests for drugs, replies to those and directions to others to supply the drugs in question.
Following his arrest Colin Jones, who was said to be “a supplier to other suppliers” was found to have 14 deals of crack cocaine on him and told officers he was “only doing it to make a bit of money”.
He later explained that he had been dealing in class A drugs for some time, making bout 20 deals a night for which he made £2 on each sale.
But Mr Sandhu said the heroin and crack conspiracy simply continued from an address in Thorneside after Colin Jones was granted bail and evicted from his home.
Colin Jones was jailed for five years and four months; Sleem for four years and ten months; and Anthony Jones, who also admitted an assault on his partner, for six years.
Observing that Barden and Wilson were involved in “a closed conspiracy” to supply cannabis, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC jailed Barden for 20 months and Wilson for 18 months.
And Jordan Jones was jailed for nine months for his part in supplying cannabis – consecutive to 12 months of his suspended sentence which he was also ordered to serve.
A seventh defendant - Stuart Pule, 22 of Thirlmere, Brownsover, was also given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work after he admitted possessing cannabis with intent to supply.
Sentencing the men, Judge Lockhart said: “A police community support officer speaks of a 15-year-old girl at a school saying this is where you go to get drugs. There is plain evidence of young people knowing of and using this address.
“This is an area where people came to seek drugs, and it is a problem for the local community. There were a large number of reports of drug-dealing activity at 5 Grizedale and 7 Ennerdale, which caused local upset and problems.
“This had a significant impact in the community. Those who seek drugs commit offences including theft from shops and burglary to get funds to support their habits.
“Drugs have a corrosive effect, and young people, some as young as 15, were coming to the address. Word was going round in local schools that drugs were available at the address.”
Judge Lockhart also made orders for cash to be seized from the men under the Misuse of Drugs Act – a total of £4,734 from Anthony Jones, £113 from Colin, £870 from Jordan, £282 from Sleem, £620 from Barden and £45 from Pule.
Colin Jones, whose most serious previous conviction was a rape for which he was jailed for eight years, was also been jailed for two years in 2010 for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
Anthony Jones’s previous convictions include for possessing heroin and crack cocaine in 2007.