A drug-dealing grandma and her cab driving accomplice have been jailed after a specialist search team found more than £35,000 of heroin and cocaine inside the woman’s home.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Carol Dale worked for a Merseyside-based drugs gang - bagging and selling illicit substances which had been shipped into the region using a sophisticated county line operation.
The merchandise would be dropped off by Liverpool courier David Williams who used his cab to transport the drugs to Dale's Scotswood home, in exchange for bundles of cash.
They were both snared as part of a long-running investigation by drugs-busting officers from Northumbria Police and the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) after Williams had been spotted visiting Dale on five separate occasions between July and October last year.
When officers carried out their targeted strikes on 4 October they discovered more than 1.4kg of heroin worth just over £30,000, and almost 60g of crack cocaine worth £4,500 in the kitchen of Dale’s home. They also seized scales, drugs paraphernalia and £3,000 in cash.
They also found a rucksack in the boot of Williams’ Skoda containing £19,080 – something he later claimed was his life’s savings - as well as a further £500 in his pocket.
On 1 September, the pair both appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where they admitted their respective roles in the conspiracy.
Carol Dale, 56, of Scotswood, admitted possessing heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property. She was jailed for seven years and three months after previously being given a suspended sentence for her involvement with the same organised criminal group five months earlier.
David Williams, 49, of West Derby, Liverpool, was jailed for 40 months after admitting being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine and possession of criminal property.
Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt from Northumbria Police, heaped praise on the officers who helped snare Dale and Williams and bring them before the courts.
He said: “I hope that these sentences send a strong message to those organised criminals who choose to come into our towns and cities to supply illegal drugs.
“Under the banner of Operation Sentinel, we will identify who you are, put a stop to your illegal activity and make sure you are taken off the streets and put behind bars.
“We are serious about disrupting criminal organisations that make money from selling dangerous, illicit substances which have such a profound impact on our communities, and some of the most vulnerable who live in them.
“Dale and Williams have had little to no concern for the welfare of those drug users trapped in a cycle of addiction and must now face the consequences of their actions.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the officers who were involved in this lengthy investigation – I am really pleased with the sentences handed down and this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved in bringing this before the court.”
Anyone who has information about drug dealing in their community is asked to contact police on 101 or on the ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the Force’s website.
You can also report information anonymously by calling independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.