Drug dealers who were scheming to put £300,000 worth of cocaine on the region’s streets are starting hefty jail sentences.
Alexander Dobbing and Wayne Bruce were jailed for a combined total of more than 11 years at Durham Crown Court yesterday.
Bruce, 32, of Cedarwood Grove, Sunderland, was pulled over by police at the Red Lion pub in Plawsworth, near Chester-le-Street, County Durham, on September 17, 2013.
In the back seat of his Vauxhall Insignia was a holdall containing two packages of the class A drug, which Durham Crown Court heard had been transported to the region from Merseyside.
The drugs were found to have a purity of 73% and would have had a street value of £300,000.
Bruce was immediately arrested and initially denied any knowledge of the haul.
An investigation by Durham Police revealed telecommunications between Bruce and Dobbing, who is 35 and of Burdon Walk, Castle Eden, County Durham, and other organised criminals as they plotted to sell drugs.
The pair have admitted conspiracy to supply a class A drugs.
Judge Christopher Prince yesterday sentenced Dobbing, who was said to have played an organisational role, to eight years imprisonment and Bruce, who acted as a courier to three years and four months in jail.
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Inspector Paul Colling, from the North East Regional Special Operations Unit, said the sentences send a message.
He said: “Alexander Dobbing headed this organised crime group directing people such as Wayne Bruce to act as his courier, to transport class A controlled drugs such as cocaine into the North East region from Liverpool.
“The street value of the two kilos of cocaine is £300,000, clearly showing their level of criminality and the profits involved. However, the greater the profits the greater the risk criminals face when they get caught and we will seek to strip those convicted, of their criminally gained assets.
“Drugs cause misery and organised crime is a serious problem that affects real people. Its impact is seen in our communities every single day. Hopefully todays sentencing will send the right message out to those contemplating entering a life of crime.
“Think twice before you get involved, because when you get caught you risk wasting the best years of your life in prison, with nothing but regrets for you, your family and friends.”