Cocaine dealer jailed for 10 years


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The Independent Online

A cocaine dealer caught with £1.3 million of the class A drug and amphetamines valued at up to £450,000 was jailed for 10 years today.

Steven Jamison, 44, was a "hands-on" supplier, importing the substances and, unusually, processing them himself at a flat which he turned into a drugs factory, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Frank McGee, 55, was jailed for four years and nine months after police found four safes filled with drugs at his property. The court heard he was warehousing the stocks for Jamieson.

Three couriers who were caught at a hand-over on a secluded track with a bag containing almost 4kg of amphetamines last April were also jailed by Judge Richard Lowden.

The judge told Jamison, of Kirkleatham Street, Redcar, Cleveland: "You were clearly at the heart of what was a very substantial drug processing and distribution business on Teesside."

The purity of the drugs indicated he was at a high level in the processing chain, and he oversaw the processing down to street-level purities.

When police raided a flat in Columbine Close, Tollesby, Middlesbrough, they found a hydraulic press to compact the drugs, scales and a heat sealer for the half kilo drug bags.

The flat was uninhabitable, James Adkin, prosecuting, told the court, as it was devoted to drug processing.

"The evidence suggests he has been involved in the supply at a high level for a number of years," he told the court.

The gang was arrested following police surveillance, the judge heard, and cocaine weighing 4.92kg and 10.2kg of amphetamines were recovered.

Judge Lowden sentenced Jamison to 10 years after the defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A and class B drugs.

Jamison already had too convictions in 1989 and 1997 for importing cannabis.

He jailed McGee, of Heythrop Drive, Middlesbrough, for the same charges, despite acknowledging he was the principle carer for his autistic son and that he had acted naively.

"You warehoused a large amount of drugs. You must have known that - there were four safes there," the judge said.

Andrew Marks, 38, of Bolton Court, Middlesbrough, was jailed for two years after admitting conspiracy to supply class B drugs. He drove a bag of amphetamines to a hand-over when he was caught by police.

Michael Jaffray, 48, from Beresford Crescent, Middlesbrough, and Michael Berry, 41, from High Street, Lingdale, East Cleveland, were jailed for 21 months each after admitting conspiracy to supply class B drugs. They were to collect the drugs from Marks.

Judge Lowden told them: "You were integral cogs in the wheel of distribution."

Peter Makepeace, for Jamison, had told the judge: "There was a degree of pressure on him. He is not at the top of the organisation. Clearly he plays a leading role, but there are others above him in the chain."

Jennifer Coxon, for Marks, said he got involved after struggling to repay £300 he borrowed from a loan shark to pay for driving lessons, and he realised now he had been "naive".

Richard Herrmann, for Berry, said his client was only getting £100 to be a courier on the hand-over, and that it was an isolated incident.

Rod Hunt, for Jaffray, said: "Rather than being someone who cruises around Teesside in a BMW with blacked out windows, his hobby is pigeon racing.

Paul Abrahams, for McGee, said: "His naivety was exploited by someone more criminally aware."