Leeds drug dealers jailed over '˜ring and bring' hotline

TWO drug dealers who helped operate a '˜ring and bring' drug dealer hotline in Leeds have been locked up.

Jack Porter and Liam Goddard were both handed sentences of four and a half years for their involvement in the operation to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

A court heard police seized one phone belonging to Porter and it was found to have received 17,000 calls or text messages during the period of offending.

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Kirsten Mercer, prosecuting, said police became aware of the scale of the offending after stopping a car in which Porter was a passenger in October 2014.

A small amount of cannabis and cash was found in the vehicle and officers seized a mobile phone.

The phone was examined and police returned to Porter’s home two months later after it was found to contain text messages relating to drug supply.

Two further phones were seized from the property and found to contain hundreds of text messages to and from a phone number linked to Goddard.

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Goddard was then observed carrying out what appeared to be a drug deal at the Marston Mount tower block in the Lincoln Green area of Leeds on January 5, 2015.

Police stopped Goddard as he came out of a lift. He was found in possession of wraps of heroin and cocaine and over £300 in cash.

Miss Mercer told the court: “The prosecution’s case is that Jack Porter had an operational involvement in the drugs line.

“Phones in his possession received orders and he sent messages directing others to locations to make deals.

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“The prosecution’s case is that Liam Goddard is a runner - a street dealer.”

Goddard, 19, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis, possession of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

Porter, 25, of Whinmoor Crescent, Whinmoor, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis

The court heard Porter had agreed to become involved in the operation in order to clear a £5,000 debt he owed to dealer who had supplied him with cocaine.

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Goddard also agreed to become involved in order to clear a drug debt but claimed he had not been entrusted to handle any money.

After the case, Detective Inspector Jaz Khan, of Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said: “A comprehensive investigation by specialist officers gathered the detailed evidence which showed Porter and Goddard had key roles in a ‘ring and bring’ hotline supplying crack and heroin in the Harehills and Chapeltown area.

“The harm that these drugs do both to the individuals who use them and to our communities is well documented, and we will continue to do everything we can to target those involved in this criminal trade. We hope the significant sentences they have received will send a clear message to others about the penalties they can expect if they involve themselves in the organised supply of drugs.

“The law-abiding majority in our communities have a vital part to play in supporting our continued efforts to target those involved and we would encourage people to pass on any information either directly to us or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers.”