Police officer among nine on trial over Sunderland cocaine conspiracy
A police officer and eight other people have gone on trial accused of being involved in a major conspiracy to bring cocaine to the streets of Sunderland.
PC Gary Christie is alleged to have been recruited by gang leader Asa Dobbing, a jury heard.
"Christie was a lifelong friend of Dobbing," prosecutor Nick Dry told Teesside Crown Court. "He was ideally placed working within the the police intelligence unit."
Asa Dobbing is alleged to have led the gang with his brother Aidan Dobbing, based at the pair's Aspect Garage business in Sunderland.
"The conspiracy was a well-organised enterprise driven by dedicated criminals," said Mr Dry. "They were motivated by the rewards to be had from trafficking large quantities of drugs.
"Those drugs were transported from the south of England up to the Sunderland area on a regular basis, with payment in hard cash heading the other way.
"Those involved sought to hide their involvement using what they believed to be untraceable pay-as-you-go mobile phones."
"But as the police began to investigate, they began to build a picture of those involved, unravelling the many thousands of communications to reveal the identities."
The following all deny conspiracy to supply class A drugs between August, 2012 and April, 2014:
>Asa Dobbing, 36, of Ryhope Grange Court, Ryhope, Aidan Dobbing, 31, of Ravelstone Close, Doxford Park, Sunderland, Simon Loomes, 41, of Duke's Valley, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.
>Kevin Dudley, 20, of Hadrian Park, Jarrow, Victoria Carter, 25, of St Oswyn Street, South Shields, April Hunter, 20, of Union Quay, North Shields, and Christopher Catchpole, 49, of Church Walk, Thornley.
Gary Christie, 41, of Silksworth Lane, Sunderland, denies the drugs conspiracy charge, and he denies misconduct in public office.
Asa Dobbing denies aiding and abetting a person to commit misconduct in public office.
The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.