Gloucester man charged with running drug smuggling operation

A jury took less than an hour to reach a unanimous verdict and find a 20-year-old Gloucester man guilty of running a drug smuggling operation in the city.

The jury of six men and six women at Gloucester Crown Court returned their guilty verdict after deliberating for 55 minutes, finding that Kian Harrison-Dickson of Ryecroft Street had sold hard drugs while on parole from prison.

Prosecutor Alex Daymond explained to the jury that when Harrison-Dickson was released on a prison license he had strict conditions to follow, but he chose to ignore those parole conditions and started running the drug line “ty”.

Mr Daymond said: “On March 10 a Ford Focus was stopped at Trier Way in Gloucester and Harrison-Dickson was the front passenger while another man drove. Both men had their own phones while a third “Burner” type telephone was found in the center console.

“This old fashioned phone was examined and showed evidence of drug dealing. Both men were arrested on suspicion of drug dealing and both denied knowledge of the burner phone.”

The prosecutor pointed out to the jury that there was only one defendant in the dock because the driver of the vehicle had been eliminated from the police investigation because he had not been involved in the conspiracy.

The jury heard that the Burner’s phone had a number of Harrison-Dickson connections.

Mr Daymond added: ‘It appears Harrison-Dickson was the person responsible for texting addicts regarding the drug supply in the area.’

“It is Crown’s case that Harrison-Dickson was the main organizer of the drug hotline. He controlled the phone and sent messages about the sale of the drug.

“A cell phone is an important business resource for this type of operation. Harrison-Dickson would send the messages to addicts and receive orders in return.

“Harrison-Dickson did not handle the drugs himself. He had runners do it for him. Harrison-Dickson’s home address was searched and police found no drugs on his property. However, officers found £400 in cash which they believed to be the proceeds of crime as, being unemployed, he had no money of his own.

“Another connection between the anti-drug phone and Harrison-Dickson is that both devices had the same number stored in their memory. The engraver’s phone was used 448 times to contact that number in 20 days. It never Received no message or call from this number.

“Additionally, Harrison-Dickson’s own phone contacted the same number 45 times during the same period. This shows regular contact with the drug dealer, his courier who delivered the drugs to the user.

“Further analysis of the mobile phone showed that it had previously been used with a different SIM card for drug trafficking.

“Finally, there is a damning piece of evidence and that is contained on Harrison-Dickson’s own phone where there is a message he sent to an unknown recipient that he has a new phone number – the same phone number as the engraver’s phone .

“Additionally, there is evidence that Harrison-Dickson used the drug phone to contact a taxi company to take him to his grandmother’s house in another part of town on 37 occasions during the four weeks he he operated the drug line.”

The jury was told that Harrison-Dickson had previously been convicted of drug trafficking and received a custodial sentence.

Harrison-Dickson said in his testimony: “I always pleaded guilty to drug trafficking when I appeared in court because I was guilty. This is the first time I’ve pleaded not guilty because I don’t am not guilty.

“The money that was found in my possession belongs to me. It was not the proceeds of the drug trade, but the remains of the £1,200 my family and friends gave me to help me out when I I was released from prison. I don’t want to mention the names of these friends in court.

“I was only in the car for eight minutes when she was stopped by the police. The burn phone was already in the console when I was picked up. I never used this burn phone .

“I’m not Ty. Ty isn’t an associate of mine, but I know he lives in Gloucester.”

Mr Daymond told the jury: ‘The Crown argues that there is clear evidence of drug trafficking on the burner telephone, but the question is whether Harrison-Dickson had control of the telephone which was used for the drug supply.

The jury found Harrison-Dickson guilty of being involved in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine between February 9 and March 11, 2022 and of being in possession of criminal property, namely £400 cash as proceeds of the crime.

Trial Judge Recorder Mathew Turner remanded Harrison-Dickson in custody and warned him that he would receive a lengthy custodial sentence as he would face a minimum mandatory prison term of seven years.

Mr Turner ordered pre-sentence reports to be made before Harrison-Dickson could be sentenced on a date to be set.

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