FIVE men from Hartlepool have gone on trial accused of bringing large shipments of cocaine to the North East.
Teesside Crown Court heard undercover police saw one of the men take part in a £44,950 drug deal in a car park in the town after the cocaine was brought in from Liverpool.
Prosecuters claim this was one of 40 trips the courier made to Hartlepool.
Neil Jackson, 42, of Dowson Road, David Gallagher, 54, of Wharton Terrace, Lee Haggan, 37, of Campbell Road, Michael Jackson, 62, of Kilmarnock Road, David Haggan 42, of Cranwell Road, all Hartlepool, all deny charges of conspiring to supply class A drugs between January and March, 2013.
They were in the dock with three men from Sunderland and one from Liverpool.
Adrian Dent, prosecuting, told the court three men have already admitted conspiring to supply cocaine.
He said: “All we say about that is it proves a conspiracy existed. One of those men, Steven Adair, is a trafficker from Liverpool.
“The drugs were brought to the North East by another Liverpool man, Peter Murphy, who also took the money back to Merseyside. There is evidence to suggest he made 40 trips to Hartlepool.”
The court heard undercover police observed Murphy arrive in Hartlepool in his Vauxhall Astra.
Mr Dent added: “He was seen to meet David Haggan at the Teesbay Retail Park. They drove to a nearby shopping parade where they met David Gallagher.
“He took an electrical transformer box of the kind used in building sites in to a house he was renovating. The prosecution say that contained the drugs.”
He said the men were later arrested and the box was found to contain two bricks, traces of cocaine, and £44,950 in 45 bundles.
Mr Dent said: “The bricks, we say, were to make the transformer carry like a genuine one, and £44,950 is the approximate wholesale price of a kilo of cocaine.”
The court heard mobile phone records led police to several more people, including Sunderland men Kirk Maddison, Robert Stevens, and Paul Lawton.
He said: “About £22.000 was found in Maddison’s house when he was arrested. Curiously, some was in rolled bundles similar to the money seized in Hartlepool.
“Maddison claimed the money was from an inheritance, and from selling cars.”
*Kirk Maddison, 32, of Gill Terrace, Paul Lawton, 51, of Dellfield Drive, and Robert Stevens, 57, of Hylton Road, all Sunderland, and Peter Murphy, 52, of Hirst Park Drive, Liverpool, also deny conspiring to supply class A drugs between January and March, 2013.
The case continues.