Men jailed for conspiracy to supply - Waltham Abbey


Police seized 22 kilos of cannabis resin with a street value of up to £95,000 after a two day undercover operation in which they watched a flat in Waltham Abbey.

The drugs were being stored in Chris Barnett's flat for Cheshunt man Lee Taylor in readiness for distribution to a network of suppliers, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Today, Friday, 12 December 2014, Lee Taylor and Chris Barnett along with Christopher Smart, Tony Ward, Raymond Dewsbury, Ian King and Charles Poulton appeared for sentence for their part in the conspiracy which involved a high speed car chase where one of the defendants tried to get away.

Prosecutor Simon Wilshire said undercover officers saw Taylor meet Smart and another man at the flat on 30 April this year.  At ten past two in the afternoon Smart left with a laden Lidl carrier bag. He got inside the man's Alfa Romeo and was driven off. 10 minutes later the car was stopped and 20 bags of resin, weighing 5 kilos, were recovered.

Very shortly afterwards, Ward was driven to Tillingham Court in a VW Golf. He came out carrying a box and was driven off. He went to a relative's address at Hestor House, Harlow. At around half past three Ward left and drove to King's address in Ryecroft Road, Harlow with a box of drugs. 15 minutes later Raymond Dewsbury turned up at Ryecroft Road and left with a laden black bag containing 20 bars of resin weighing 5.09 kilos.

Dewsbury's white Toyota car was followed by the police for the next 30 minutes. At one point Dewsbury threw a mobile phone out of the window. "Around six minutes into the pursuit, Dewsbury made an 11 second all to King - doubtless to inform him he was being followed. This set off a cascade of calls to co-defendants," said Mr Wilshire.

He went through red lights, cut across double white lines and sped at 65 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone and reached 95mph in a 60mph zone before he finally stopped before 'stingers' were used to burst his tyres.

King was arrested at his home at 4.20 in the afternoon and £500 cash was seized. Ward and Smart were arrested outside Hester House. Ward was found to have a wrap of cocaine in his hand.

Mr Wilshire said the police allowed Taylor 'to run' and observations were kept on him. He was seen in his Nissan driving to Chequers Road, Debden, the home of Smart. Later that day he was seen with Poulton in a Ford Focus.

On 1 May, Taylor was arrested at his girlfriend's address in Denny Avenue, Waltham Abbey. Two blocks of cannabis resin were recovered from a void within the stairs. On the same day officers raided the Tillingham Court flat and recovered 10.9 more kilos of the drug from a cupboard. Barnett was arrested and said: "That's it. It's nothing to do with me I was asked to look after it yesterday." They also found 268 cannabis plants that Barnett was growing. Poulton was arrested on 7 May after the police established he had arranged for the drug to be stored at Barnett's home.

  • Lee Taylor, aged 41, of Longfield Lane, Cheshunt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply 20 kilos of cannabis between 29 April and 1 May 2014. He was in breach of a 4 month sentence suspended for 12 months passed in January this year at Southwark Crown Court for supplying a Class B drug with intent. He was jailed for a total of 3 and a half years.
  • Christopher Smart, aged 48, of Chaucher Road, Loughton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply 5 kilos of cannabis resin. He was jailed for 16 months.
  • Tony Ward, aged 28, of Fullers Mead, Harlow was convicted of conspiracy to supply 5 kilos of cannabis resin and possession of a small amount of cannabis. He was jailed for a total of 20 months and 7 days.
  • Raymond Dewsbury, aged 61, of Orchard Croft, Harlow pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply controlled drugs on the basis his role was restricted to the amount found in his car. He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving. He was jailed for 9 months for the drugs, with a consecutive sentence of 11 months for dangerous driving, making a total of 20 months. He was banned from driving for 2 years.
  • Ian King, aged 47, of Ryecroft Road, Harlow was convicted of conspiracy to supply 5 kilos of cannabis. He was jailed for 18 months.
  • Christopher Barnett, aged 39, of Tillingham Court, Waltham Abbey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply and also pleaded guilty to producing cannabis plants. He was jailed for a total 26 months - 14 months for the conspiracy and 12 months for producing cannabis.
  • Charles Poulton, aged 29, of Chadwell Avenue, Waltham Cross pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply having said his role was one of arranging the storage of the drugs at Barnett's flat. He received 9 months jail suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision. He must carry out 180 hours unpaid work and abide by a curfew between 8pm and 6am for the next four months.

Judge Stephen Warner told them: "You were all involved in conspiracy to supply a significant quantity of cannabis resin. This was a professional, organised and planned criminal operation. Each of you were trusted to play a role in the supply network."

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