THE trial of a man described as second in command of a county lines drug dealing operation in Worcester has begun.

Jaskaium Kharaud, 21, stands accused of conspiring with others to supply crack cocaine between July 12 and July 24, 2018. He also is accused of the same offence, between the same dates, of conspiring with others to supply heroin.

Kharaud was described by Andrew Baker, prosecuting, to be the "lieutenant" to another man, who was described as being head of the operation and who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Two others, who were both aged 15 at the time of the offences, are also accused of the same offences and are standing trial with Kharaud, having all pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.

The jury, of seven women and five men, were sworn in on the first day of the trial, being held in courtroom one of Worcester Crown Court.

The trial is being overseen by the Judge James Burbidge QC, the Recorder of Worcester, who told the jury the trial could go into next week.

Outlining the case to the jury, Mr Baker said: "The charge was also known by the police as Operation Blade.

"It was an investigation into county lines, the supply of class A drugs within the Worcestershire area.

"The defendants all come from Coventry and they came specifically supply drugs in Worcester and around the Worcestershire area.

"The principal defendant is not in court today. He employed and directed others, these three in the dock, in this conspiracy. Kharaud, he was the lieutenant."

Mr Baker said the prosecution's case would be proved through telephone and surveillance evidence that demonstrated they all played their separate roles in the operation.

Mr Baker went through a rough outline of the 12 days operation, where often Kharaud and the man at the top of the operation could be traced coming from Coventry to Worcester, allegedly as part of the illegal activity.

He said the 12 days culminated in a room being booked at the Travelodge, in Cathedral Square, where the accused were seen coming and going to carry out drug deals, with known drug users spotted in the area.

The jury also heard Kharaud, of Dorchester Way, Coventry, prior to them entering the courtroom, had pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis, a class B drug on July 23, 2018.

The trial continues.