Court hears gang were drug barons

AN Ipswich man was one of a network of highly organised drug dealers who supplied the majority of crack cocaine and heroin in the town, a court heard today.

By Colin Adwent

AN Ipswich man was one of a network of highly organised drug dealers who supplied the majority of crack cocaine and heroin in the town, a court heard today.

Johnny Callie, 57, of Peterhouse Close, denied being involved in a conspiracy to supply class A drugs along with co-defendants Adrian Cadogan, 23 and Ovuchime Egwurugwu, 22, both of Harlesden, London, when their trial began at Ipswich Crown Court.

The case is linked to one of the biggest ever undercover police investigations aimed at destroying the drugs trade in Ipswich.

Around ten other people have already pleaded guilty to being involved in the conspiracy to supply drugs, the jury heard.

Prosecutor Carey Johnston told the court Suffolk police launched a major investigation in June 2005 against the trade in crack cocaine and heroin in the Ipswich area.

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Using undercover officers to purchase drugs, who went by the names of John, Martin and Roxy, police identified a large group of people in the town operating a commercial enterprise to distribute and supply drugs calling themselves the T Business.

Posing as drug users the three officers used traceable bank notes while making their purchases, the jury heard. They discovered the drugs came to Ipswich from two addresses in Colchester and one in Wivenhoe.

The court was told conspirators came to Ipswich regularly to supply drugs themselves or to give them to other people on their behalf.

Miss Johnston said the officers often obtained drugs from low level dealers who in turn had got them from higher level people in the gang.

She added there existed a hierarchy among the dealers ranging from those in an organisational capacity to those selling on the street.

All knew others were involved and how the business operated, although they may not have known each others identity or have had any connection with their fellow dealers.

The focal point of the business was a mobile telephone called the T phone.

The court heard, John, the undercover officer, established the network of dealers was controlling the majority of class A drug supply in Ipswich.

John was used to purchase drugs between June 7 2005 until August 4 2005 throughout Ipswich.

During this time he made his purchases through the T phone, the number of which was 07900 627474.

Although there was only one number different people answered the phone on many occasions.

The person answering the phone would direct him to a number of locations in and around Ipswich where deals would be made. These included the Stoke Park area and addresses in Firmin Close and Cambridge Drive.

Miss Johnston said: “It was a sophisticated and organised conspiracy.”

She added the crack cocaine was known as trainers and the heroin called bubbas.

On one occasion more than 20 people were at a location where an undercover officer was able to purchase drugs.

The court heard John was deployed 26 times and only on one occasion did he fail to buy any drugs.

The first wave of arrests took place on August 4 2005 at addresses in Colchester, Ipswich and London among other locations, one of which was Callie's home address of 32 Peterhouse Close, Ipswich.

Twenty people were taken into custody during the raids, although some were released without charge at a later date.

Callie was arrested at his home, Cadogan was arrested on August 28 2005 in London and Egwurugwu was taken into custody on October 19 2005 in Essex.

The case continues.