#parents | #teensvaping | Baby-faced teen among gang dealing heroin and crack cocaine from Stroud supermarket car park

Three teenagers and an adult have been locked up for a total of 11 years for drug dealing in Stroud.

Officers were watching suspected Class A drug users approach a parked Rover car in a supermarket car par, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Ian Fenny told the court on Monday January 6 what happened when the officers approached the vehicle.

He said: “The police then approached the vehicle and the three men in the back seat of the Rover ran away. Police gave chase and a youth and two men were soon caught and arrested. The woman stayed behind the wheel of the car.

“On the back seat, where the male defendants had been sitting, was a large number of wraps of heroin and crack cocaine – about £1,000 worth in street deals, along with a number of phones.”

It was later heard there were 57 wraps of heroin and 69 of crack cocaine in the car.

In the dock were a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Caleb Goggins, 18, of Hatherley Road, Gloucester, and Sallie-Ann Lane, 31, of Target Close, Stroud, who all pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

James Joyce, 18, Hucclecote Road, Gloucester, denied possession with intent to supply Class A drugs but was convicted after a trial on October 15.

A fourth defendant, James Joyce, 18, Hucclecote Road, Gloucester, had denied the same offence but was convicted after a trial on October 15.

The 17-year-old was also sentenced for other drug dealing offences on April 11 2019 when he was stopped and searched after being spotted with a known drug user in an alleyway.

“A number of mobile phones were recovered which were analysed and found to contain 1,570 drug dealing messages for the ‘Star Line’ – part of the county lines drug operation being run in Gloucestershire, Taunton and Herefordshire,” said the prosecutor.

The court was told that the youth was arrested again on September 9, 2018 where he was found to have stashed a quantity of class A drugs in his underwear.

Mr Fenny concluded: “It will be seen that the youth, despite his tender years, had a substantial role within this drugs operation.”

Guy Wyatt, defending for the youth said: “He has been exploited by others since he was very young, and that provides a context to his offending. The first offence was committed when he was still 16.

“There is some basis for optimism as he is doing well in the education unit at the detention centre. He is not a lost cause.”

Mr Wyatt said on Joyce’s behalf: “He became involved through his use of cannabis which he took up following the death of his father.”

Sallie-Ann Lane, 31, of Target Close, Stroud, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Sarah Jenkins, defending Lane, said: “She didn’t have any understanding of the scale of the drug operation. Lane had a minor role and was not paid in cash but in drugs. Since being in custody she is now clean from drugs.”

Mr Wyatt for Goggins said: “He was 18 on the day of the offence. He did not realise that his drug habit had become problematic. He is now coming to terms with his addiction.”

Sentencing the four defendants Judge Euan Ambrose said: “Your offending is so serious that only custodial sentences can be justified.”

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Turning to the youth, the judge said: “You are also being sentenced for other drug-related offences for which you were released under investigation but were discovered to be dealing four months later.

“You were released into the care of the local authority yet you were offending again in September last year. Your DNA came to light during a county-lines investigation.

“You repeatedly carried out your offending over a nine-month period. I have taken into account your pre-sentence report and the letter you’ve written to the court.

“I’ve taken into account that you rejected the advice given by the national referral scheme and entered a guilty plea for your offending.

“An adult being sentenced at this court for your offences would be looking at a prison term of seven-and-a-half years, you will be detained in a young offender’s institution for three and-a-half years.

“I also order the forfeiture of £533.50 as the proceeds of drug dealing.”

Caleb Goggins, 18, of Hatherley Road, Gloucester, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

Turning to Goggins, Judge Ambrose said: “You committed the offence on your 18th birthday and note that you are already addressing your drug habit.”

The judge sentenced Goggins to two years and three months in a young offender’s institution.

Judge Ambrose said to Lane: “At the age of 31 you are significantly older than your co-defendants. You had a limited role in the operation. You were a class A drug user at the time of the offence.

“You role was to drive the vehicle to which you had no insurance.

“However you failed to appear at court for a hearing and a warrant for your arrest was issued. You have become clean from drugs whilst in custody.”

The judge sentenced Lane to two years and three months in prison and endorsed her driving licence with six points who also admitted to driving with no insurance.

Turning to Joyce the judge said: “You were convicted after a trial. You were 18-years and three months old at the time of the offence. Technically you were an adult but still immature.”

The judge sentenced Joyce to three years in a young offender’s institution.

All defendants were ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and ordered for the forfeiture of all drugs and all relevant paraphernalia seized.

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