DRUG dealers who supplied heroin and cocaine to the streets of Stratford have been jailed.
Birmingham-based Aaron Josephs and Julian Barnes made money peddling the Class A drugs by using middle man George Stephens − who has also been jailed for his role in the conspiracy – to get the illegal substances distributed.
But their empire came crashing down in March when armed police stopped the pair in Barnes’ Audi on Bishopton Lane just as they were about to meet with Stephens.
Both men had large quantities of cash on them and searches of their homes revealed further evidence of their illicit activities.
Inquiries subsequently linked the men directly to 20-year-old Stephens − who had been arrested two months earlier − and showed that between May 2015 and March 2016 more than 177 trips had been made by the men between Birmingham and Stratford.
All three men admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs at Birmingham Crown Court and on Wednesday (September 7), a judge jailed Barnes and Josephs each for nine years.
George Stephens, of Holly Walk, Stratford, was handed a five year term for the conspiracy as well as an additional five years to run consecutively for possession of a firearm, relating to a stun gun officers recovered during the investigation.
His girlfriend Daisy Bayliss, 21, of Wasperton Lane in Warwick, was jailed for two years and eight months for her part in the conspiracy − driving Stephens to Birmingham and back to collect the drugs.
Andrea Petropolous, 22, of Church Street in Alcester, got a sentence of five years and eight months for acting as a sub-dealer for Stephens in Stratford.
And Olivia Stephens – George Stephens’ mother – aged 40, of Holly Walk, Stratford got a suspended sentence for allowing her son to use her address as a base from which to deal the drugs.
DC Tom Frenchum, from West Midlands Police CID, said: “These sentences send a strong message to other dealers who damage our communities with the drugs they sell, that they face a long stretch in prison when we catch up with them.
“I’m confident the streets of the West Midlands and Warwickshire are much safer with this supply network dismantled, but it doesn’t stop here.
“We’ve now frozen their assets and are working hard to recoup the cash they made from their illegal activities.
“I want to thank Warwickshire Police for working so closely with us throughout this case and most importantly to the public who help by providing us with all the crucial information we need to launch investigations like this in the first place.”