This week, a judge handed prison sentences to a group of 4 young men from Kings Norton for conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.
Charges against the four came when West Midlands Police raided 10 addresses in Kings Norton in February last year.
During the raids, police recovered almost £1,000 worth of cannabis, dealer bags and digital scales, plus mobile phones containing a back catalogue of text conversations between the group discussing drugs supply and deals.
Police also found photos on a mobile phone of two of the men posing with cash and drugs, including Turner showing off cash (left) and another showing Turner and and May-Dyer leaning over dried cannabis leaves on a living room floor.
Police first discovered the the gang’s cannabis ‘den’ on 10 November 2012 when officers stopped a car being driven away from Turner’s home address. They found a quantity of drugs in the car and a subsequent search of a shed in Turner’s garden − a chill-out summerhouse complete with TV − uncovered 1.3kg of cannabis with a street value of around £1,400.
Fingerprints belonging to May-Dyer and Cunningham were found on the drugs bags whilst a BlackBerry phone found in the shed contained over 60,000 messages, many of which linked the four men to drug dealings.
And CCTV seized from Turner’s home showed the four men hanging out in their chill out summerhouse in the days before police arrived.
A further £800 worth of cannabis was seized was seized at Cunningham’s flat during the February 2013 raids.
At Birmingham Crown Court this Wednesday (30th April) Eugene May-Dyer, 24 of Halladale, Russell Turner, 18 of Green Acres Road, Ian Cunningham, 24 of Wordsworth House and Grant Barnhurst, 21 of Pershore Road all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drugs.
Labourer Turner was jailed for 13 months − including an additional month for breaching an earlier suspended sentence − and May-Dyer for 12 months. Cunningham from Wordsworth House and 21-year-old Barnhurst, from Pershore Road, were both handed nine-month prison sentences.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Bannister, head of West Midlands Police’s Gang Taskforce, said: “These are young men who’d formed a fledgling gang that was on the up…we managed to intercept them at an early stage before their criminality could escalate and potentially cause more damage in the Kings Norton community.
“As a police force we are committed to a policy of drugs prevention through education and diversion − especially where young people are concerned − but we will not hesitate to push for custodial sentences if necessary.
“Our communities repeatedly tell us that taking action against drug dealing in communities is a priority for them and urge us to take action; no-one should have to put up with that on their doorstep. That’s what we’ve done and four young men who cockily posed for photos boasting of their drug dealing are now paying the price.”
Northfield Neighbourhood Policing Manager Inspector Vanessa Eyles said: “The impact these individuals had while dealing and supplying drugs locally was negative and destructive. Their criminal activity caused anti-social behaviour and crime everywhere they dealt; my officers worked closely with the Gangs Task Force to ensure the right people were targeted.
“This result illustrates that we respond to information provided by the community − and I’d urge anyone who suspects drug dealing or associated criminality is going on in their area to contact us on the 101 number so we can take action.”