Two Leamington women and Warwick man among group jailed from 'county lines' drugs ring
Five men and two women who were involved in a conspiracy to ferry more than £400,000 worth of drugs from Birmingham for sale in the Leamington and Warwick area have been jailed.
The sentencing of the seven at Warwick Crown Court was the culmination of three-year police operations code named Bushey 1 and Bushey 2 to smash the ‘county lines’ drug ring.
The court heard that after the first round of arrests, ringleader Meshach Duncan, his deputies Mateusz Frasunkiewicz and Dajon Donaldson, and dealer Kieran Aldred kept the operation going with new couriers to transport the drugs.
Two of those, Rebecca Manix and Deborah Walsh had denied being involved in conspiracies to supply the two class A drugs, but were convicted after a trial earlier this year.
Following an adjournment, they were sentenced alongside Duncan, Frasunkiewicz, Donaldson and Aldred who had pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and two of conspiring to supply heroin.
Duncan (31) the brains behind the drugs ring, of Weeford Drive, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was jailed by Judge Peter Cooke for 10 years four months.
Aldred (20) of St Michaels Road, Warwick, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years, Donaldson (20) of Coniston Crescent, Great Barr, Birmingham, for six years nine months, and Frasunkiewicz (21) of Buckley Road, Leamington, for six years ten months.
Manix (46) of Morton Street, Leamington, and Walsh (57) of Lower Avenue, Leamington, had both been convicted of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine as part of Bushey 2.
Manix, who had recruited Walsh, was jailed for six-and-a-half years, and Walsh for four-and-a-half years.
And Kyle Crossley (18) of Pickard Street, Warwick, who was just 15 at the time he was involved in street dealing as part of Bushey 1, was sentenced to three years after being convicted after a trial last year of conspiring to supply heroin and crack.
Prosecutor Daniel Wright explained: “Bushey 1 was a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine from Birmingham to the Leamington and Warwick area.
“The head of the organisation was Meshach Duncan who ran it with Mateusz Frasunkiewicz and Dajon Donaldson.”
Bushey 1, which also involved Aldred and Crossley, ran from February 2015 until October the following year and involved 308 drug runs between Birmingham and Warwickshire.
Bushey 2 was the follow-on operation between February and November 2017, with Manix involved in 98 of 121 drug runs carried out, and Walsh taking part in 32 of them using her red Mazda MX5.
Mr Wright said that based on the seizures carried out when the police intercepted seven of the drug runs, Bushey 1 had involved around 1.32 kilos of heroin and 554 grams of crack.
And Bushey 2 would have involved about 522 grams of heroin and 375 grams of crack, taking the total street value of the drugs trafficked in the two operations to around £402,800.
Duncan was the ringleader of the whole operation, with his nephew Donaldson carrying out some drug runs and deputising for him when he was away, including taking a holiday to Mexico.
Frasunkiewicz, known as Polish Matty, whose partner was Manix’s daughter, was running the Leamington and Warwick end of the operation, while Crossley, who was cleared of being involved in Bushey 2, and Aldred were street dealers, added Mr Wright.
Gurdeep Garcha, for Duncan, said he was an intelligent man, with 11 GCSEs and 4 A-levels, and had lawful employment as a trade plate driver.
“He was able to live two lives. Having got involved in these circles, and seeing the amount of money involved, greed took over and he found it hard to resist.”
Mr Garcha argued he was ‘not at the top of the pyramid’ – but that was rejected by the judge, who told Duncan: “There is not a whiff of anyone above you.”
Joseph Keeling, for Frasunkiewicz, said: “For the first year of Bushey 1 he would have been 17. At that time, especially when he was smoking cannabis, he gave little thought to the consequences. Since then, he’s had a lot of maturing to do.”
James Boyce, for Donaldson, said: “He had done some work as a tiler, but at 17 he took the unfortunate decision to become involved in this.
“Mr Duncan is Mr Donaldson’s uncle. He was acting under direction. He had a management role, but quite a limited one. He’s described as Mr Duncan’s left-hand man.”
Delroy Henry, for Aldred, said: “He was effectively a street dealer and/or a bulk carrier. He became embroiled in this when he was 17. It’s said the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He says it began because ‘I wanted to help my mum.’”
Nick Devine, for Crossley, pointed out he would have been just 14 when Bushey 1 began, and suggested he had become involved ‘through an element of naivety.’
In relation to Manix, Mr Devine said: “She’s a lady who has lost the best part of the last 20 years to a chronic class A drug addiction. Her role was prolific, but it was limited, just to go to Birmingham, pick up a packet and bring it back, her gain being drugs for her own use.”
But Judge Cooke commented: “Aren’t I driven to the conclusion it was through her that Deborah Walsh became involved? She was making these runs, and using Deborah Walsh to do so.”
And Tom Schofield, for Walsh, said she had lived ‘a blameless life, if a drug-addled one,’ and has had health problems which include arthritis and high blood pressure.
Sentencing the seven, Judge Cooke said: “The prosecution, for proper reasons, proceeded by splitting this case in two.
“The reality is that this was a continuing, ongoing arrangement for the supply of class A drugs, the ones that cause the most harm and destruction to people’s lives.
“Those drugs were being shipped from Birmingham to this area, and at the heart of the organisation in Birmingham was Meshach Duncan who was in effect running the operation.
“At this end was Mateusz Frasunkiewicz, also in a prominent role, as were Dajon Donaldson and Kieran Aldred. Others played lesser roles.”
And he added: “I must comment on the police investigation which has been commendably thorough, and my praise and congratulation goers out to those involved in it.”
In November last year, following a trial on conspiracy to supply heroin and crack as part of Bushey 1, Michael Hedli (41) whose home in Humphris Street, Warwick, was said to have been a staging post and a shop for the sale of the drugs, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Ian Ward (45) of Churchill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, but who had previously lived in Beauchamp Road, Kenilworth, who made a number of drug runs, was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Steven Bicknell (33) of Field Barn Road, Hampton Magna; and Paul Hodgson (26) of Holly Road, Handsworth, were both given sentences of three-and-a-half years.
And Shaan Khan (21) from Kenilworth, who had pleaded guilty, was sentenced to three years and nine months.