The trial of 10 men facing a series of allegations of conspiring to supply drugs in Shropshire is to be held next year.
During a hearing yesterday at Birmingham Crown Court the defendants all denied being involved in the conspiracy between July last year and May this year.
The defendants are variously alleged to have conspired to supply quantities of cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine or cannabis.
In the dock were 30-year-old Telford businessman Jonathan Rochford, of Lake End Drive, Brookside, who owns Phoenix Cars, and two of his employees, Kenneth Preston, 42, of Hurleybrook Way, Leegomery, Telford, and Haroon Hussain, 25, of Millers Way, Muxton, Telford.
There were three other men from Telford – Derek Sheldon, 35, of Bridgwood, Brookside, Paul Stonehouse, 36, of Culmington, Stirchley, and Weldron Dean Cheek, 44, of Shawfield Close, Sutton Hill.
Two men from Shrewsbury, Philip Jennings, 39, of Abbey Foregate, and Benjamin Pengilly, 32, of Longden, along with Mohammed Saed Karim, 42, of Bilberry Road, Birmingham, and Scott Highfield, 39, of Alton Close, Wolverhampton, were also in the dock.
Judge Michael Chambers QC directed that the trial will be heard at Stafford Crown Court starting on January 7 next year and could last up to two months.
Karim, Cheek, Pengilly, Jennings, Highfield and Hussain were allowed conditional bail. The other defendants were remanded in custody.
The cases of two other Telford men, David Maloney, 33, of Dalford Court, Hollinswood, and James Stubbings, 30, of Stone Row, Malinslee, who also face conspiracy allegations, were adjourned until next month. Both men were remanded in custody.
Also before the court yesterday was Kelly Rochford, the 35-year-old wife of Jonathan Rochford, who faces a charge of perverting the course of justice.
Judge Chambers QC adjourned her case until December 20 for a plea and case management hearing and Rochford, of Lake End Drive, Brookside, has been remanded on bail.