A DRUG dealer has been jailed for seven years for supplying Class A drugs in Worcester.
Deniro Lee, aged 20 and from Castle Bromwich, was found guilty and sentenced last Thursday (October 17) at Hereford Crown Court for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine in the city.
He stood trial with 30-year-old Tezra Millwood-Mowatt, of Lazells in Birmingham, who was found not guilty by the jury of the same charges.
Lee was caught as part of Operation Dorado, a major anti-drugs initiative by West Mercia Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit (Socu), that targeted organised crime groups from the West Midlands supplying heroin and crack cocaine to local dealers in Worcester.
It included an undercover officer infiltrating the drugs community in the city to identify dealers, which has led to 31 people being jailed.
The undercover officer, referred to in court only as ‘Danny’, infiltrated the drugs community in Worcester and over four months purchased cocaine and heroin from many different dealers.
The information collected by Danny led Socu detectives to a number of organised crime groups, including the one involving Deniro Lee. He and five others were found to be supplying and distributing crack and heroin in Worcester between October 2011 and February 2012.
The court heard Lee had varying roles within the conspiracy – sometimes he would act as a call taker on a drugs line contacted by people who wanted to buy drugs. He was also observed by covert officers travelling to addresses in Worcester to supply the drugs.
After pleading guilty, all the others involved were imprisoned at Worcester Crown court in September 2012.
Detective Inspector Andy Bailey said: “Operation Dorado was a complex and longstanding investigation that was launched following concerns raised by residents in Worcester, in particular about street dealing.
“Although the issue of drugs is no more of a problem in Worcester than it is elsewhere in the country, the unlawful supply of controlled drugs by organised gangs has a real impact on all of our communities.
“The misuse of drugs is a factor in many other types of crimes, for example burglary, and we are determined to deal with those who seek to profit from this type of organised criminality.
“During this investigation we specifically targeted those organising the drug supply in order that we could have the biggest impact on those who were profiting the most.
“Dorado aimed to not just tackle street dealers but the organised crime groups who were supplying them with heroin and cocaine, many of them working out of Birmingham and the Black Country.
“Lee’s sentence now means Dorado has led to drug dealers being imprisoned for a total of 147 years.
“His involvement was proved with evidence obtained through extensive and painstaking telecomms data analysis as well as surveillance and innovative investigative work.
“This investigation has been particularly protracted and I would like to acknowledge the excellent efforts of all of the Socu staff who have worked extremely hard to obtain Lee’s conviction.
“Our efforts to tackle organised crime and drug dealing continue and anyone intending to deal drugs in West Mercia needs to know we will pursue them with unflinching tenacity and it will only be a matter of time before we bring them to justice.”