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Vital part is taking out the network of supply
THE DETECTIVE inspector who led the undercover drugs sting welcomed tough sentences for drug dealers which he says will send out a stern message and save lives.
Detective Inspector Carl Moore, who runs the serious organised crime unit, said he hoped the tough sentences handed out at Worcester Crown Court yesterday, including one of over five years, would make other dealers nervous across West Mercia and the wider West Midlands region.
DI Moore said he was pleased the sentences, which ranged from 18 months to five years and four months, reflected the different roles played by people from those organising the distribution of drugs to more vulnerable defendants, many of them homeless because of their drug dependence.
He said: “It’s fair to say the more organised of the groups have been those from the West Midlands area who were using people in Worcester to supply the drugs.
"It is one of the biggest operations that West Mercia have conducted for a number of years, certainly in relation to the targeting of street level drug supplying.”
A covert operation took place over several months to collect evidence with 150 officers executing 35 warrants over two days in May in Worcester, Birmingham and the Black Country. Before court hearings began yesterday, 28 people had already pleaded guilty.
He said: “Other drug dealers should be nervous. The most important part of it was that we did get evidence in relation to the frontline suppliers.
“That’s critical. It is very easy for the organised dealer to move on somewhere else and find somebody else to do his work for him.
“For me the important part is taking out that network of supply over the street dealer. That has been the most successful part for me. Drugs destroy lives.
“One of those who pleaded guilty said he had no doubt that if it weren’t for the fact that he had been arrested he would have been dead within the next 12 to 18 months.
“That’s down to the fact he had a chaotic lifestyle driven by his need to lay his hands on more drugs.”