Pair who hid heroin in coffee jars jailed

Two members of a drugs gang which used Asda coffee jars to run thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack from Wolverhampton to Aberdeen have been jailed.

Pair who hid heroin in coffee jars jailed

Two members of a drugs gang which used Asda coffee jars to run thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack from Wolverhampton to Aberdeen have been jailed.

Electrician Leonard Dixon was given 10 years, while Melanie Clarke, the "spider at the centre of the web" who confessed and gave evidence for the prosecution, was given four years and two months.

Clarke, aged 30, of Victoria Road, Tettenhall, admitted two charges of conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine between September 2008 and February last year.

Dixon, aged 42, of Willenhall Road in Wolverhampton who was then temporarily living with a friend in Perkins Close, Woodsetton, was found guilty by a jury.

Dixon's trial at Stafford Crown Court heard how coffee jars from Asda were used by the gang to carry tens of thousands of pounds worth of heroin and cocaine between Wolverhampton and Aberdeen.

Dixon twice drove ringleader Carl Wilson to Aberdeen on drug runs and the court heard heroin was packed in a coffee tin at his house before he would bring them to Clarke.

Drugs were wrapped in duct tape and then soaked in vinegar in an effort to disguise the smell from dogs.

But the plot was uncovered following a police search of a flat in the Scottish city where £50,000 worth of the drugs were seized.

Both Dixon and Clarke's phone numbers were found.

Clarke told the trial that consignments of both heroin and crack cocaine went up to Scotland "every week" while she was working for ringleader Carl Wilson, who she had helped escape to Jamaica.

Passing sentence, Judge Eades told Clarke: "For many years you have been under the influence of Carl Wilson. You started off as a prostitute for him, he was the pimp.You were an essential element in this conspiracy. The prosecution have likened you to the spider at the centre of the web."

Miss Annie Johnston, defending, said Clarke was in fear of Carl Wilson.

Police today said they were continuing to hunt for Wilson and 37-year-old Wolverhampton man Derek Jones, who was also allegedly part of the conspiracy and is on the police's 'most wanted' website.

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