Wolverhampton drug gang acted like 'market traders' dealing heroin and crack in street - PICTURES AND VIDEO

Five drug dealers sold heroin and crack to hundreds of users at an 'open market' in a Wolverhampton street.

Wolverhampton drug gang acted like 'market traders' dealing heroin and crack in street  - PICTURES AND VIDEO

The gang, who were filmed making 197 drug deals in just 47 days, have been jailed for a total of 32 years.

They used broadcast messaging to announce when the money-spinning operation held in broad daylight at Chester Street, Whitmore Reans, was open for business, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Police smashed the racket with an undercover operation during which surveillance could not be carried out around the clock for practical reasons.

But officers still managed to film the 197 drug deals taking place in the road and a walkway.

It was estimated that at least a kilo of crack and heroin were sold at the 'market' during the nine-month police probe.

Judge Simon Ward told them: "It was as though you were market traders. You could have had a table next to the alleyway you frequented and it would not have looked out of place.

"People were not quite queuing up to deal with you but it was one person after another. I have seen shops that were less busy than you were. This enterprise was about as commercial as it could get."

Mr Martyn Bowyer, prosecuting, explained there was no need for the trade to be carried out through phone calls and secret meetings. He revealed: "This was an open market conducted in broad daylight at which anybody needing heroin could go and buy their drugs."

Anthony Cameron, aged 28, Marco Brooks, 24, and Riccardo Brown, 26 – all of whom either lived or had family members living in Chester Street – were at 'the hub' of the operation, he said.

Barber Cameron was filmed dealing drugs on 84 occasions over 15 days between October 2015 and last March. He was dubbed a figurehead of the group with his family's Chester Street address at its heart - claims contested by his barrister Mr Anthony Eskander.

Police swoop on suspected drug dealers in Chester Street , Whitmore Reans

Cameron also had an address in Park Dale West but his family's home was opposite the alleyway used by dealers that led to Leicester Street. Mobile phone messages between members of the gang often spoke of Leicester, Chester and The Alley, the court heard.

Father-of-two Cameron had been shot and stabbed during a lifetime in Whitmore Reans. Mr Eskander said: "He started to sell drugs because he saw no other way to provide for his family. He made a bad mistake thinking the risk outweighed the cost."

Brown, who lived with his mother in Chester Street, boasted in a message found on his phone that he had 'more runners than the Olympics and more weight than a whale.'

Mr Robert Cowley, defending, protested: "That was mere bravado." But the defendant's website profile picture told a different story. It showed him clutching a wad of cash although he claimed to be in debt through gambling.

Watch the moment SIX homes on just ONE Wolverhampton street were raided by drugs police

Binman Brooks, who also lived in Chester Street, was diagnosed with cancer around December 2015 but still continued to deal drugs, giving instructions to Libyan-born Fahd Talbi from his hospital bed. His barrister Miss Pamela Brain maintained: "He has a very virulent form of the illness and the prognosis is not good."

Keiron McIntosh, aged 28 and another resident of Chester Street, where he lived with his parents, was the least active member of the drug dealing gang but he had been caught selling drugs a short time earlier. Police found £890 cash in the pocket of a coat at his home with a £300 rock of cocaine and a further £465 cash stuffed under a mattress.

Twenty-year-old Talbi, whose parents were Tunisian, came to this country aged nine with his father who abandoned him six years later. He lived in flat in Manby Close, and joined the racket because he thought the dealers were 'cool.'

All the defendants admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between October 1 2015 and July 14 last year. Brown was locked up for eight years two months, Cameron received an eight year term and Brooks was locked up for six years. McIntosh was given five years nine months and Talbi got four years two months youth custody

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