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Prisoner accused of drug dealing in Brighton
A 29-year-old man is accused of organising heroin-dealing on city streets from his prison cell.
Ian Edwards was behind bars when Sussex Police staged undercover operations to disrupt class A dealing in Brighton in 2011.
But he is said to have masterminded the trafficking of heroin from Liverpool to the coast by calling his lieutenants on a mobile phone.
Merseysider Edwards, who was living at Crabtree Avenue, Brighton, is accused of conspiracy to supply a class A drug, along with Stephen Radcliffe, 43, of Guildford Avenue, Bootle, Merseyside, and John Smith, 35, of Croylands Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
Tayo Adebayo, prosecuting, told Hove Crown Court yesterday (February 26) that Edwards was “the main man”, even while he was held at Camp Hill prison on the Isle of Wight.
He said Radcliffe was a “Mr Fix It” at the Liverpool end, with Smith a courier handing the drugs over. Police ran an operation in Brighton in November 2011 to disrupt the street drug trade.
Addicts duped into arranging drug deals led them to Paul Croston, 24, then living in Nevill Avenue, Hove, and David Fitzsimmons, 46, of Phoenix Rise, Brighton.
Both have admitted conspiracy charges.
Mr Adebayo said Croston was Edwards’s “trusty lieutenant”, who he communicated with on a mobile phone from prison. He said Fitzsimmons was Croston’s “runner”. Another man, Gary Ord, 33, of Merevale, Brighton, is said to have been the gang’s “enforcer”, minding the drugs.
Mr Adebayo said: “Every drugs operation needs one because dealing in drugs, especially class As, is a dangerous business.”
Police kept watch on Fitzsimmons’ home in December that year.
They recorded him, Croston and Ord taking part in suspected drug-dealing. On December 28, 2011, Croston was seen walking down an alleyway between Ladies Mile Road and The Deeside, Patcham, and coming back.
Officers with a sniffer dog found a Tupperware box and toiletry bag. They contained half a kilo of heroin worth £36,800.
They replaced the contents and put them back as “dummy” packages.
Croston came back for the drugs two days later and was arrested.
The case continues.
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