[A] CARLISLE man who plotted to supply cocaine and heroin for dealers higher up the criminal chain has been handed a lengthy jail term.
Debt-ridden Ashley Andrew Douglas, 22, was said to have sent out group text “bursts” with separate SIM cards to potential drug customers around the turn of this year.
But Douglas – said to owe a “considerable” amount of money – was caught out after using one SIM card to make a call to police, reporting that people with “hammers and knives” had been to rob and threaten him.
Officers located Douglas “holed up” inside a Carlisle hotel, arrested him and uncovered forensic evidence about his supply crimes. Douglas admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.
He also admitted affray following a violent city incident in December during which he brandished a baseball bat; and admitted threatening to take revenge on a person involved in a probe into that latter incident.
At Carlisle Crown Court today (THURS), Douglas, of no fixed abode, was handed a seven-and-a-half-year jail term.
Detective Constable Joanne French, North Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “Douglas is a violent individual that on this occasion attempted to intimidate a person by swinging a baseball recklessly within a property.
“Whilst he pleaded guilty to the affray, he has shown no remorse for his actions.
“This sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable in society and we are pleased that he is now behind bars.”
Speaking in relation to the drug supply offences, Detective Sergeant David Howard, said: “Ashley Douglas was involved in drug supply on behalf of a Merseyside-based organised crime group who were using the County Lines drug model.
“The criminal gangs who use the county lines model are experts in looking to exploit young and vulnerable people to further their activities. These persons are used to take the overtly risky role of storing and supplying drugs as well as the movement of the cash generated from the sales.
“I hope that this case sends a clear message to those that involve themselves in drug supply can expect significant prison terms.
“We will continue to prosecute all those involved in drug supply in our efforts to keep the local communities in Cumbria safe from drug-related crime.”
Recorder Ciaran Rankin heard Douglas was “angry” with his past mistakes, and was seeking to take positive steps towards a law-abiding future.