Ipswich dealer jailed for a decade

AN Ipswich drug dealer is today beginning a ten-year jail term after plotting to supply a kilo of cocaine.

AN Ipswich drug dealer is today beginning a ten-year jail term after plotting to supply a kilo of cocaine.

Shane Crossfield, of London Road supplied Class A drugs to dealers in the town and ran a fleet of prostitutes all hooked on his drug supply, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Richard Sutton prosecuting said police bugged the 43-year-old's Volvo car and recorded more than 100 hours of conversations about drug dealing.

The court heard that although no drugs or money were ever seized the recordings were “overwhelming evidence” which had led to Crossfield pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs.

Mr Sutton said some of Crossfield's co-conspirators had already been convicted and sentenced while others were acquitted of the conspiracy after a fifth trial collapsed last week.

Stuart Greener, 49, of Wattisfield, Lee Carnegie, 38, of Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, Colin Mason, 37, of Gosport Road, Walthamstow and John Uter, 44, of Tunnel Avenue, Greenwich, London were all acquitted of conspiracy to supply drugs.

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However Mr Sutton said that on October 28, 2004 Crossfield drove with another man to London in his Volvo car to buy a kilo of cocaine.

He said Crossfield, who had previous for possessing drugs with intent to supply and for conspiracy to rob and carrying a firearm, was more of a “procurer than a buyer” in the case.

Mr Sutton said Greener had told the other man how much the drugs should be bought for and two other associates had met up in the Volvo to discuss the supply.

He added that the kilo of cocaine would have cost between £26,000 and £36,000 to buy and it would have had a street value of £50,000. He added that if the drug was processed into crack cocaine its value would increase to £90,000.

He said the police operation Peseta involved sophisticated surveillance over several months. Simon Spence, mitigating, said his client was “the sole defendant” left in the case and could be made “a scapegoat” when sentenced.

He said there was a “degree of bravado and swagger” used in the conversations recorded by the police.

He added that Crossfield had spent 842 days on remand in prison, the equivalent of a five-year sentence because of the failed trials of co-defendants.

“This is probably a national record I suspect,” said Mr Spence.

Judge Peter Thompson said drugs devastated the lives of addicts and their families and caused connected crime such as burglaries to fund habits.

He told Crossfield: “It is an evil trade. I have recently had to deal with a child who was born with a heroin addiction because their mother was an addict because of people like you.”

He said drug dealing put pressure on the health, education and justice systems and dealers like Crossfield were only interested in making maximum profits by “getting as many people addicted as possible.”

He jailed Crossfield for ten years and made a forfeiture order in connection with the Volvo.

Is our community becoming blighted by drugs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Operation Peseta

SHANE Crossfield's money-spinning drug dealing venture was exposed after a prolonged covert police operation.

In 2004, detectives became aware of a number of people involved in the supplying of drugs in Suffolk.

Surveillance was quickly focussed on Crossfield, who was buying and selling substantial amounts of Class A drugs, predominantly crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin.

The 43-year-old had built up a clientele to whom he was regularly dealing, with his operation primarily centred around the use of his Volvo.

Using the Police Act (1997) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000), a listening device was attached to the car which provided police with crucial evidence.

Detective chief inspector Rick Munns said: “Effectively we will only use these tactics in serious cases. The thrust of that legislation is that it must be proportionate and necessary.

“We have to satisfy levels of authority up to and including the office of surveillance, with the credentials effectively of a high court judge, and we have to make a case that what we are seeking to do is justified and necessary and we can't do it in any other way.

“We listened to it whenever there was any activity taking place. It is very resource intensive and a lot was put into the operation.”

One of the most significant days of surveillance came on October 28, when Crossfield talked about buying a kilo of cocaine.

Det chf insp Munns said conversations suggested Crossfield was “in the business” of trying to purchase up to ten kilos.

On February 21, a number of arrests were made.

Det chf insp Munns said: “Persons who are becoming active in the drugs trade, inevitability, are likely to come to our notice because of the nature of their business.

“They have to make contacts all of the time and that is likely to come to the notice of the police.

“This certainly had a significant effect on the availability of these types of drugs at the time and it also gave dealers some knowledge of the length police were willing and legally able to go to secure convictions.

“Crucially this is about people who engage in drug dealing in Ipswich, Bury and Suffolk fearing what the police are doing at any time and putting the fear back with them.

“There is financial gain to be made but there are very significant risks if you engage in that activity.”

Case Collapse

FOUR men linked to the Shane Crossfield case who were facing trial for attempting to supply a kilogram of cocaine to Suffolk dealers had the charges against them dropped.

Stuart Greener, 49, of The Oaks, Wattisfield; Colin Mason, 37, of Gosport Road, Walthamstow, London; Lee Carnegie, 38, of Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds; and John Uter, 44, of Tunnel Avenue, Greenwich, London, all pleaded not guilty to an offence of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

However, on June 6, the Crown Prosecution Service told Ipswich Crown Court the charges against the four men had been dropped.

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