A Warwick man’s home was used as a staging posts at the Warwickshire end of a supply chain for heroin and crack cocaine which was being ferried from Birmingham, a jury has been told.
But despite the focus on his home, where it is alleged users regularly bought drugs, Michael Hedli, three other men and a Warwick teenager deny being involved in the illegal trade.
Hedli (41) of Humphris Street, Warwick, has pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine between February 2015 and October 2016.
Steven Bicknell (33) of Field Barn Road, Hampton Magna, near Warwick; Ian Ward (45) of Beauchamp Road, Kenilworth; Paul Hodgson (26) of Holly Road, Handsworth, Birmingham; and a 17-year-old from Warwick, who cannot be named, deny the same charges.
The Birmingham man said to be the ringleader and his deputy, a Leamington man known as Polish Matty, are among five men who had pleaded guilty to the charges, the court has heard.
Of the five on trial, prosecutor Michael Shaw told the jury: “These men were involved in a conspiracy to supply drugs, and Michael Hedli is one of the ringleaders of the Warwickshire end of the conspiracy.
“This was quite a sophisticated, long-running conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin… together with defendants who have already pleaded guilty.”
He said that of those, Meshach Duncan (30) of Weeford Drive, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was ‘the ringleader of this gang,’ and Mateusz Frasunkiewicz (20) of Buckley Road, Leamington, his ‘number two.’
The other three to have pleaded guilty are Kieran Aldred (20) of St Michaels Road, Warwick; Dajon Donaldson (19) of Coniston Crescent, Great Barr, Birmingham; and Shaan Khan (21) from Kenilworth, but whose address was not given.
“So in count one you will have really no doubt coming to the view that there was a conspiracy to supply cocaine.
“Between those two dates those ten people and others we haven’t caught yet were involved in a plan to supply cocaine out of Birmingham to Warwickshire to be sold to addicts.
“Count two is the same offence, but deals with heroin. These men would supply you with crack or heroin – they weren’t bothered which, as long as you paid for it.
“The police became aware of a large-scale supply of class A drugs in this county, and they started an operation and pulled together various strands of evidence.
“There were hundreds of drug runs, bringing tens of thousands of pounds of class A drugs into this county, and the 22 we are going to look at are just some of the examples of that.
“There are two halves to this – the Birmingham end which was the source and the supply, and the Warwickshire end who would collect the drugs or have them delivered, and then supply them.”
Mr Shaw said the main dealers in the Warwick and Leamington area were Frasunkiewicz, known as Polish Matty, and then Aldred, described as one of his lieutenants.
“Next to him is Michael Hedli who lived at an address in Humphris Street which was one of the centres of the Warwickshire supply chain. His address was used as a staging post.”
He alleged that drugs were delivered there, and said the jury would see surveillance footage of people turning up at the address and having drugs passed to them through the window.
Of others involved, he said Donaldson was a runner for Duncan, Hodgson was a dealer who would bring drugs from Birmingham to Warwickshire, and Ward and Bicknell acted as drivers for drug runs, while the 17-year-old was one of the Warwickshire dealers.
Mr Shaw said mobile phones played a large part in the operation, and when Duncan was arrested he had no fewer than 12.
A number of arrests were made as people got off trains or were in cars stopped by the police or had their homes raided, with drug seizures of up to five or six grams a time.
And he commented: “That doesn’t seem a lot, but heroin is sold at £10 for a 10th of a gram, so people with five or six grams of heroin or cocaine on a daily basis adds up to quite a lot.”
And when drugs arrived in Warwick, bulk texts were sent out to addicts to inform them they were available.
Outlining various incidents, Mr Shaw said that in May 2014 Duncan was in Warwick and ran off when he was stopped by the police in Bridge Street, but was caught.
One of three phones he had on him was later found on Polish Matty in February 2015 when he, Hedli and Khan were stopped outside Hedli’s home in a car in which officers found 6.2 grams of cocaine and 4.5 grams of heroin.
In April that year, as police raided an address in Sanders Court, Warwick, 4.5 grams of crack was thrown from the window by one of the people inside, who included Polish Matty.
The following month he and Hedli were stopped in a van in Leamington, and 1.7 grams of heroin was found in the front garden of a house next to where they had been taken out of the van.
In August the police stopped a Citroen car in Balsall Common and arrested Ward, who was driving, and another man who had 6.7 grams of heroin on him.
Then in early 2016 Hodgson was seen in a Ford Focus in Warwick, and as he was later stopped in Lillington, 3.8 grams of heroin and 4.5 grams of crack were thrown out of the car window, with Duncan’s DNA being found on the wrapping.
Mr Shaw said that by May 2016 the police had identified Hedli’s address as ‘one of the centres of the Warwickshire supply’ and started surveillance, during which people turned up, tapped on the window and were allegedly supplied with drugs.
“A stream of addicts are seen coming to that address like wasps to a honey pot,” he commented.
And he added: “Much of the evidence is not challenged by these defendants. They accept there was a conspiracy to supply drugs by those others who have admitted it.
“But their case is ‘we may have been in contact with those people on occasions, but we were not involved in the actual conspiracy.’” The trial continues.