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Police taped calls of accused drugs gang
9:00pm Thursday 28th February 2013 in News
Detectives recorded the phone calls of a man accused of running a drugs gang from prison.
Sussex Police listened to Merseysider Ian Edwards quizzing his girlfriend about the arrests of his alleged co-conspirators while he was behind bars.
Edwards has denied running a gang which brought heroin from Liverpool to sell on the streets of Brighton and Hove.
The 29-year-old, formerly of Crabtree Avenue, Brighton, is on trial at Hove Crown Court accused of conspiracy to supply a class A drug.
Stephen Radcliffe, 43, of Guildford Avenue, Bootle, Merseyside, and John Smith, 35, of Croylands Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool, have also denied the conspiracy charge.
Three men have admitted conspiring to deal the drug.
Merseysider Paul Croston, 24, of Nevill Avenue, Hove, David Fitzsimmons, 46, of Phoenix Rise, Brighton, and Gary Ord, 33, of Merevale, Brighton, were arrested following weeks of police surveillance.
After Croston’s arrest on December 30, 2011 – and the seizure of half a kilo of heroin worth £36,800 from a stash in a Patcham alleyway – police recorded Edwards calling his girlfriend Natalie Peake from a payphone at Camp Hill Prison on the Isle of Wight.
Tayo Adebayo, prosecuting, told the court he asked her in code whether drugs or money had been seized.
He said Edwards then exchanged texts and phone calls to organise a trip to Liverpool by Fitzsimmons and Ord, to pick up a replacement supply of heroin from Radcliffe and Smith.
Those messages were allegedly exchanged on a mobile phone Edward was using illegally in prison.
Fitzsimmons and Ord were arrested after returning from Liverpool on January 6 – though the substance they were found with was revealed not to contain any heroin.
The trial continues.
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