County Lines: Pair caught 'cuckoo' dealing in Shrewsbury behind bars

Two drug dealers caught in a car containing heroin and cannabis in Shropshire have been jailed.

Peter Gilmartin and Jack Marsland
Peter Gilmartin and Jack Marsland

Peter Gilmartin and Jack Marsland, both 22, were arrested after police officers observed a car outside the home of a person known to be the victim of county lines ‘cuckooing’ , in Harlescott, Shrewsbury.

The car drove off and the officers pulled it over in the Castle Foregate area of the town to find four men inside.

Prosecuting barrister Miss Samantha Powis said: "These offences came to light on January 22, 2019 at 3.30pm two officers from the county lines team had occasion to see a blue Corsa parked outside the address of someone they believed to be a cuckooing victim.”

She told the town's crown court that Marsland, who had a significant role had a mobile phone on his person while a second phone was found on the front passenger seat where he was sitting.

"Both when examined show evidence of drug trafficking and texts going back tot he beginning of the year showing people inquiring about obtaining drugs," Miss Powis said.

She said co-defendant Gilmartin was searched at the police station after he was spotted fumbling with his trouser waist. The officers subsequently discovered 17 cocaine wraps and 14 heroin wraps on him.

Both defendants, from Chester, previously admitted conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs charges. Marsland also admitted possession of criminal property relating to £698.55 in cash seized when he was arrested.

Mitigating advocate Mr Andrew Holland said Marsland for his part provided an early guilty plea.

"Of course he is caught by the significant role factor. He was paying off a debt notched up after £6,000 worth of drugs were found in a house. This relates to a jury trial at Chester," Mr Holland said.

Gilmartin also admitted two charges of possessing class A drugs.The court also heard that he was convicted of possessing Class B drugs at Mold Magistrates Court in August this year.

At the sentencing hearing for the January 2019 offences Judge Peter Barrie told Gilmartin: "It is quite clear that you have been playing a part in bringing Class A drugs into Shropshire and supplying them to a range of customers. through dealing.

"You are not from Shrewsbury. I accept that you are on the lower end of the management structure."

He jailed him for a total of two and a half years.

Judge Barrie said due to his young age Marsland's sentence would be viewed in totality following his recent jail term of five years and 10 months given at Chester. He jailed him for two years to run consecutively.

Another defendant Shay Harper, also 22, was fined £500 for possessing heroin at a hearing in October. While the case against a fourth man has been dismissed.

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