A man and woman from Northwich have been jailed after they pleaded guilty to drug dealing in the town.
Jonathan Weedall and Karen Hazelden, both previously of Station Road, Northwich, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 15 November where they were sentenced to more than five years in prison.
Weedall, 36, and Hazelden, 43, were both sentenced to two years and eight months, after they pleaded guilty to two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs (heroin and crack cocaine).
The case against the pair began in January 2022 when officers from Northwich Proactive Team received intelligence from Merseyside Police in relation to a mobile phone number that was being used as a graft phone by a local county lines drug gang.
The number was used to send flare messages advertising the sale of substances to repeat buyers but this was a pay as you go mobile and wasn’t registered to any specific user.
Following enquiries officers recovered CCTV footage of Weedall purchasing credit for the phone at a local supermarket.
A warrant was conducted at his flat on Station Road on Wednesday 26 January 2022 where officers seized several items, including a number of mobile phones.
Weedhall and Hazelden were both arrested and taken to custody.
During questioning Weedall admitted topping up the phone but stated that he was doing it for somebody else, while Hazelden refused to answer any questions.
Despite their denial, subsequent analysis of the phone revealed that both Weedhall and Hazelden were using the number to deal drugs and the pair were both charged.
Following the sentencing Police Constable Adam Cupples, of Northwich Proactive Unit said:
“This case is a great example of partnership work between forces.
“As soon as we received the intelligence that the mobile phone was being used as part of county lines criminal activity, we were quickly able to identify the owners through the CCTV footage, leading to the prompt arrest of Weedall and Hazelden.
“Following our subsequent investigation, we were able to prove that the pair were both involved in drug dealing in the Northwich area, and the pair have both been put behind bars.”
If you believe drug activity is occurring in your community please report it via our website or by calling 101.