FOLLOWING a long-running covert police operation, seven men and three women have admitted their roles in a plot to supply large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine.
It has been said that over a two-year period quantities of the two class A drugs originated in Wolverhampton and were then transported to dealers in Stratford.
At an earlier hearing at Warwick Crown Court, with 17 people appearing either in court or via video links from prisons, it was indicated most would be denying the charges.
But at a plea and case management hearing with all but one of 18 defendants in the dock, ten of them – including four from Stratford – admitted being involved.
From Stratford, Vincenzo Bottone (44) and Tabatha Hickman (42) of the same address in Huxley Court, Kelly Traynor (33) of Childs Close, and William Wells (43) of Lodge Road, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
From Wolverhampton, Christopher Cork (50) of Heantun Rise, Michael Carter (27) of Prosser Street, Natasha Frazer (33) of Chervil Rise, and Junior Evans (19) previously of Frost Street, pleaded guilty to the same two charges.
Two other men, Albert Morris (18) of Crescent Road, Dudley, and Lisimba Wilks (33) of Felix House, University of East London, also pleaded guilty to the two conspiracy to supply charges.
But Michael Porter (30) of Adey Road, Wolverhampton; Terry Morris (45) of Clopton Road, Stratford; and Robert Edwards (50) from Stratford, but whose address cannot be given, pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply the two drugs.
Another man, Mark Simons (23) who is from Warwickshire, but of no fixed address, admitted conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano ordered pre-sentence reports to be prepared on all those who had pleaded guilty.
But she said there was no need for those to be done immediately because they would not be sentenced until after the trials of those who had pleaded not guilty.
Philip Bradley, prosecuting, said two trial dates had been earmarked – with the plan being those defendants in custody should stand trial in November and those who are on bail in March next year.
Another man Peter Goodwin (42) of Honeybourne Road, Bidford, was not arraigned because an application is to be made to dismiss the charges against him.
They will be back in court next month when there is to be a pre-trial review hearing in relation to those who have pleaded not guilty.
Two other defendants, Dale Cooke (20) of Cadle Road, Wolverhampton; and James Kesterton (33) of Brickfield Lane, Shipston, were not at court and are due to appear later this month.
Adjourning the case, Judge de Bertodano granted bail with a number of conditions to Hickman, Bottone, Carter, Edwards, Morris, Goodwin and Gomersall, but all the others were remanded in custody.