Four men and a teenager found guilty of taking part in drug supply chain between Birmingham and Warwick
Four men and a teenager have been warned they are facing custodial sentences after being convicted of taking part in a drug supply chain between Birmingham and Warwick.
Michael Hedli, Steven Bicknell, Ian Ward, Paul Hodgson and a 17-year-old youth, had all denied conspiring together and with others to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Only Bicknell (33) of Field Barn Road, Hampton Magna; Ward (45) of Churchill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, but who had previously lived in Kenilworth; and the youth, who is from Warwick but cannot be named, were in the dock to hear the jury find all five of them guilty.
Hedli (41) of Humphris Street, Warwick, was unfit to go into court after falling on the stairs, and Hodgson (26) of Holly Road, Handsworth, had mistakenly left before the jury returned.
They will all be sentenced at a later date to be fixed, and were granted bail, but Judge Sylvia de Bertodano warned: “You are all going to be looking at custodial sentences.”
The Birmingham ringleader and his deputy, a Leamington man known as Polish Matty, are among five others who had pleaded guilty to the charges, the court has heard.
Of the five on trial, prosecutor Michael Shaw told the jury: “This was quite a sophisticated, long-running conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin... together with defendants who have already pleaded guilty.”
He said Meshach Duncan (30) of Weeford Drive, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was ‘the ringleader of this gang,’ and Mateusz Frasunkiewicz (20) of Buckley Road, Leamington, his ‘number two.’
The other three to have pleaded guilty are Kieran Aldred (20) of St Michaels Road, Warwick; Dajon Donaldson (19) of Coniston Crescent, Great Barr, Birmingham; and Shaan Khan (21) from Kenilworth, but whose address was not given.
Mr Shaw said the charge involved a plan to supply drugs out of Birmingham to Warwickshire, commenting: “These men would supply you with crack or heroin – they weren’t bothered which, as long as you paid for it.
“There are two halves to this – the Birmingham end which was the source and the supply, and the Warwickshire end who would collect the drugs or have them delivered, and then supply them.”
Mr Shaw said the main dealers in the Warwick and Leamington area were Frasunkiewicz, known as Polish Matty, and then Aldred, described as one of his lieutenants.
“Next to him is Michael Hedli who lived at an address in Humphris Street which was one of the centres of the Warwickshire supply chain. His address was used as a staging post.
“A stream of addicts are seen coming to that address like wasps to a honey pot,” he commented.
“The police became aware of a large-scale supply of class A drugs in this county, and they started an operation and pulled together various strands of evidence.
“There were hundreds of drug runs, bringing tens of thousands of pounds of class A drugs into this county.”
Mr Shaw said Donaldson was a runner for Duncan, Hodgson was a dealer who would bring drugs from Birmingham, and Ward and Bicknell acted as drivers for drug runs, while the 17-year-old was one of the Warwickshire dealers.
And when drugs arrived in Warwick, bulk texts were sent out to addicts to inform them they were available.
In May 2014 Duncan was arrested in Warwick, and one of the phones he had on him was found on Polish Matty in February 2015 when he, Hedli and Khan were outside Hedli’s home in a car in which was found 6.2 grams of cocaine and 4.5 grams of heroin.
In April that year, as police raided another address in Warwick, 4.5 grams of crack was thrown from the window by one of the people inside, who included Polish Matty.
The following month he and Hedli were stopped in a van in Leamington, and 1.7 grams of heroin was found in the front garden of a house next to where they had been taken out of the van.
In August the police stopped a Citroen car in Balsall Common and arrested Ward, who was driving, and another man who had 6.7 grams of heroin on him.
Then in early 2016 Hodgson was stopped in Lillington, and 3.8 grams of heroin and 4.5 grams of crack were thrown out of the car window, with Duncan’s DNA being found on the wrapping.