Man denied role in drugs gang

PUBLISHED: 19:11 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

Court story

Court story

A MAJOR drugs ring involved in the large-scale distribution of ecstasy and cocaine was broken up after a seven month police operation, a court was told. Police raided premises which led to arrest of the gang and the recovery of drugs worth at least £250

A MAJOR drugs ring involved in the "large-scale distribution" of ecstasy and cocaine was broken up after a seven month police operation, a court was told.

Police raided premises which led to arrest of the gang and the recovery of drugs worth at least £250,000.

One of those arrested was Robert Burnell, 37, of Ribway, Buntingford, who has denied two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs between September 1, 2006 and February 28 last year.

In opening the prosecution case at the Inner London Crown Court, Kenneth Millett told the jury that police conducted a covert surveillance operation on a number of men in a bid to disrupt a large-scale distribution of class A, B and C drugs.

Mr Millett said: "The distribution extended over a wide area."

Six of the men arrested after the police raid have admitted their role in the gang, said Mr Millett.

He claimed that police had watched Burnell take part in several meetings involving the alleged movement of cash and drugs.

The barrister said mobile phone records showed that he was in frequent contact with other gang members to organise deals.

Mr Millett told the jury that Burnell had admitted plotting to supply amphetamine and cannabis, but denied conspiring to sell class A drugs.

Burnell, he said, had been seen on one occasion pull up outside the Potters Café Restaurant in Potters Bar and hand over a plastic bag from the boot of car.

Mr Millett said the contents were "either drugs or payment transaction".

Burnell was also seen to be involved in an apparent deal in Brentwood with a "white van man", said Mr Millett.

He continued that on October 21 last year, Burnell was watched in the grounds of Waterstock Golf Club in Oxford putting into the boot of his car a carrier bag.

Mr Millett said: "We would suggest this is either a payment for already supplied drugs or part payment for drugs to be supplied."

He said that when a number of members of the gang were arrested Burnell had been involved in "panic calls" with other who has not been held and then once he realised the consequences he stopped using his mobile phone.

He said Burnell was not using the mobile phone which would have connected him with the offence. "This speaks volumes," he said.

The trial which is expected to last for eight weeks continues.

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