LOCAL NEWS: Ten convicted of running Merseyside to Dorset “county line”

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An arranged crime group has been sentenced to a total of more than 60 years in prison for their roles in running a “county line” which supplied heroin and cocaine from Merseyside to Bournemouth. 

Eight members of the group, which were led by Thomas Garcia and James Brown, have pleaded guilty to their parts in the two conspiracies following an investigation by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit working with Merseyside and Dorset police forces. 

The group, also known as “Scouse Porky Line”, started transporting the drugs and cash concealed in a car battery packs, but after Richie Mcdonald was arrested, they changed their tactics. Instead, they’ve started using gift wrapped boxes and gift bags to hide their goods.

Detective Inspector, Adrian Hawkins from the SW ROCU said: “Led by Thomas Garcia and James Brown, this group went all out to try and avoid detection and keep their “Scouse Porky Line” running, exploiting vulnerable adults to transport their drugs and cash along the way.

“They were regularly exchanging between 250 and 300 messages a day with drug users in Dorset, which shows the scale of their supply and the harm they were causing. All of this was managed from their homes in Merseyside – and even at one point while they travelled around Europe. 
 
“The successful conviction of all 10 – including early guilty pleas from the key players – shows the strength of the evidence we secured against them, despite their best efforts, by working closely with the police forces at both ends of the ‘county line’.”

The main members of the organised crime group were arrested in simultaneous raids in Merseyside and Dorset in November 2018, including Thomas and Sean Garcia, James Brown and David Murphy. 

Full breakdown of sentences handed down on Friday 10 January 

Thomas Garcia has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018. He was sentenced to 10 years custody and will be subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order for five years upon his release.

James Brown has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  He was also sentenced to 10 years in custody and will be subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order for five years upon his release.

Stephen McDonald has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  He was sentenced to 8 years in custody.

Shaun Lewis has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  He was sentenced to 7 years and 4 months in custody.

Full breakdown of sentences handed down on Monday 13 January:

Olatunde Ademuyiwa has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  But was found guilty at trial last July and sentenced to 8 years in custody.

Sean Garcia has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  He was sentenced to 6 years in custody.

David Murphy has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018.  He was sentenced to 5 years in custody, plus an additional 8 months to run concurrently for possession of a stun gun.

Richie McDonald has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018. He was sentenced to 32 months in custody.

Carl Norton originally pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between March 2018 and November 2018, but this changed his plea to guilty mid-trial.  He has been sentenced to 3.5 years for the drugs conspiracies and 18 months for two burglaries.  He also received 6 months for possession of Class A and 6 months for possession of a lock knife (those sentences will run concurrently).

 

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