A CONSPIRACY to supply drugs including cocaine involved men from Leamington and Rugby, a court has heard.
Five men have admitted conspiring to supply drugs following a huge police operation.
But 13 other men and three women will have to stand trial after they all denied being involved in the conspiracy.
They were among a total of 23 people to appear at Warwick Crown Court as a result of the Warwickshire Police operation which concluded with a series of arrests in October.
The 23 appeared in court in eight separate hearings which had to take place because of Covid-19 restrictions on the number of people who could be in the courtroom at any one time.
David Burdett, 44, of Hood Road, Daventry pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply drugs between October 2017 and November 2018, and also admitted six firearms offences.
Alay Kifle, 24, of Waterton Way, Leamington; Bradley Cooke, 24, of Albert Bean Close, Leamington; Manjinder Jayia, 24, of Russell Grove, Leamington; and Thomas Bash, 77, of Wortley Close, Rugby also pleaded guilty to the drugs conspiracy charge.
Kifle was remanded in custody, although the other four were granted bail – and they will not be sentenced until after the trials of other defendants.
Of those, Luke Timlin, Warren Brown, Lewis Mowatt, Wayne Constable, Dominic Duxbury, Derek Knight, Oliver Bailey, all pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply drugs.
Bailey, 29, of Landor Road, Whitnash, was remanded in custody, but Timlin, 29, of St Chads Road, Bishops Tachbrook; Brown, 23, of Langdale Close, Leamington; Mowatt, 28, of Spinney Close, Lighthorne Heath; Constable, 34, of Brackley Crescent, Leamington; Duxbury, 45, of Tachbrook Road, Leamington; and Knight, 42, of Ford House, Sydenham, Leamington, were granted bail.
Sarah Reeve, 38, of Montgomery Drive, Rugby, and Stacie Burdett, 33, of Hood Road, Daventry, both pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply drugs and the firearms charges, as did Garvey Thompson, 40, of Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham.
The two women were both granted bail, but Thompson was remanded in custody, as was Wayne Philpotts, 45, of Plantation Side, Nottingham, who denied conspiring to supply drugs.
Caroline Dalley, 54, of Sturdee Close, Daventry; Neil Brewster, 51, of Oak Close, Bedworth; Samuel Hawkins, 41, of Stoneleigh Road, Coventry; Glen Thompson, 35, of North Oval, Northampton; and Jason Solomon, 31, of Hampstead Road, Handsworth, Birmingham; all denied being involved in the drugs conspiracy and were granted bail.
Two further defendants, Christopher Reeve, 43, of Montgomery Drive, Rugby, and Tony Wilshire, 28, of Knightley Road, Bishops Tachbrook, were not arraigned on the conspiracy charge, and their plea hearings were adjourned until the New Year.
Reeve, who also faces the firearms charges, was remanded in custody, and Wilshire was granted bail.
Of the defendants who had pleaded guilty to the charges they faced, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed: “It is likely to be some time before we get to sentence in this case.”
In relation to those facing trial, she said that of the defendants in custody would take place first, beginning on May 4 next year, and was expected to last for up to four weeks.
The trials of the defendants on bail will then follow – but Judge de Bertodano also ordered a pre-trial hearing for all those who had pleaded not guilty to take place in late January.