Taxi boss facing jail after £400k cocaine and cannabis ring smashed

Craig Wilson being arrested
Craig Wilson being arrested

A FORMER taxi firm boss has admitted his part in a £400,000 drug dealing ring.

Craig Wilson, who helped run cab company Hoda 26, is facing a lengthy spell behind bars after admitting he conspired to sell cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis in Hartlepool.

The 37-year-old was joined at Teesside Crown Court by Lee McDonough, 33, David Hall, 44, Adam Wilson, 25, and James Murphy, 32.

All five admitted to conspiring to deal a class A drug and two counts of conspiring to deal a class B drug between March 7 and September 7 last year.

Hartlepool Police say the drugs are worth more than £400,000 and were found as part of one of the biggest busts in the town’s history.

The Mail reported how premises belonging to Hoda 26, in Mainsforth Terrace, Hartlepool, were raided on December 19 last year, along with homes in Relton Way, Lynmouth Walk, Gibson Grove and Sheriff Street.

Hoodie-wearing Craig Wilson was hauled out of his plush home in Relton Way in handcuffs and put in the back of a police van before his Audi car was towed away.

No-one at Hoda 26 could be contacted for a comment.

The five men had their cases adjourned at court yesterday for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

The Judge, Recorder Michael Slater, who granted Craig Wilson bail but remanded the rest in custody, warned that the reports would only help decide how long they are locked up for as the seriousness of the charges make prison sentences inevitable.

Recorder Slater said: “Clearly these reports are only going to go to length of sentence and not type of sentence, but they will enable the court to have full information about you all.

“Granting the bail and adjourning the case does not make any promises to sentence. And granting bail does not mean I deem that a lesser offence has been committed.”

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said the adjournment will give the five men’s barristers more time to clarify who had played what role in sourcing and dealing the drugs.

Detectives from Hartlepool Police, including Detective Inspector John Chapman and Detective Sergeant Daryl Tomlinson, who had led the investigation, were in the public gallery to see the pleas being entered.

Craig Wilson, McDonough, of Gibson Grove, Hartlepool, Hall, of Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, Adam Wilson, of Lynmouth Walk, Hartlepool, and Murphy, of Stanhope Drive, Liverpool, will be sentenced on March 8.

The conditions of Craig Wilson’s bail are for him to live at home, sign in at a police station on Tuesdays and Fridays and follow a curfew from 7pm-7am each day. He has also been made to surrender his passport.