Blackpool 'County Lines' drugs trial: Secret surveillance is played to jurors

Crown Court
Crown Court
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Jurors in the trial of six people accused of conspiring to supply drugs in an alleged 'County Lines' set up have been played undercover footage.

Six people are accused of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine, between October 23, 2017 and May 3, 2018.

They are: Jamie Copeland, 35, of no fixed address, Aaron Scott, 23, of Cunliffe Road, Blackpool, Nikolaos Mandulakis, 49, of Cragg Street, Blackpool, Kelly Jones, 35, of Clevedon Road, Blackpool, Dale Harrison, 22, of Grange Road, Blackpool, and James Baillie, 39, of Moore Street, Blackpool.

The jurors were led through a "sequence of events" involving a mixture of surveillance and telephone activity, which the prosecution says indicate County Lines drug dealing in the resort involving a telephone dubbed the "Junior" phone.

Preston Crown Court was also told a vehicle stolen in a burglary in Stalybridge was being used on false number plates and is allegedly linked to the investigation.

It is alleged the car was seen on ANPR on November 1 travelling from Manchester towards Blackpool at a similar time that the 'Junior' phone was cell sited in similar locations.

Prosecutors also say hidden bodycam footage shows another man linked to the case, named as "Cook", dealing two wraps of heroin and one of crack cocaine to a Lancashire Police test purchaser for £25 cash.

Giving evidence, DC Beattie, of Lancashire Police, said at 11.35pm an undercover officer witnessed Cook on St Anthony's Place, using a mobile phone.

At 11.35pm phone evidence shows his phone receiving a one second voicemail from the 'Junior' number, which was cell sited in Manchester.

There is then a series of calls to and from both phones.

The court heard further surveillance showed Cook walking down Talbot Road, using a mobile phone.

A few seconds after that he was observed being joined by four or five people on Victory Road.

Prosecuting, Joe Allman: " What is the significance of him meeting various different people on streets?"

DC Beattie replied: " I would say the Junior phone is taking an order and has subsequently turned Cook out."

"The implication would be that he's supplying these people with drugs."

Further surveillance then showed Cook going to an address on Gorton Street - where defendant Aaron Scott's mother lives.

He was seen standing in the door of Scott's mother's address.

(proceeding)