County Lines drug dealer who was caught at Ottery found guilty

PUBLISHED: 11:35 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:35 04 September 2018

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court.

Archant

A ‘County Lines’ drug dealer is facing a long jail sentence after being caught with £6,700 worth of heroin when he and a courier were stopped on the A30 near Ottery St Mary.

Darren Morgan was driving a hired Mercedes convertible in convoy with another car when they were both pulled over by police as they headed for Exeter.

He is a member of a London based gang which ran a so-called County Line drug supply operation to Devon, in which orders were taken and deliveries arranged through a single mobile phone.

Morgan has already served one six year term for drug dealing and is likely to receive another lengthy sentence when he and courier Georgina Galanis appear at Exeter Crown Court on Wednesday of this week.

Police stopped Morgan, who was travelling in convoy with Galanis, at Ottery St Mary and recovered three mobiles, one of which was the ‘graft’ phone which he was using to organise drug deals.

The drugs were in the other car, which was driven by Galanis, but his fingerprints were on the wrapping.

He claimed he knew nothing about the drugs or phone but other messages sent and received were to people he knew.

Analysis of which phone masts were used showed that the graft phone had always been in the same location as Morgan’s private phone. They also showed he had made at least two trips to Devon.

Morgan, aged 31, of Highbury, London, denied conspiracy to supply heroin but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court.

Galanis, aged 25, of Durley Road, London, has admitted the same charge.

Mr Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said Morgan was stopped on the A30 in East Devon on the evening of March 13 and was arrested with Galanis.

They were travelling in convoy and the other car contained 335 wraps of heroin which would have been sold for £10 or £20, making a total street value of up to £6,700.

A ‘graft’ phone was recovered which was being used to arrange the sale and delivery of drugs, although Morgan denied any connection with it. He did acknowledge ownership of a second iPhone.

Mr Coombe said phone evidence showed he had a very clear link between the two phones and there were many instances of callers who failed to get an answer from one ringing the other immediately.

He said it was possible to trace the movement of the phones through the different masts used to make or receive calls and this showed previous trips to Devon in the days before the arrest in March this year.

Morgan denied involvement and says his fingerprints got onto the packaging of some of the heroin because he touched a roll of clingfilm while visiting Galanis’s home in North London.

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