REGIONAL: Controller of phone advertising drugs in Wigan jailed

Christopher Clarke, of Neville Street, was part of an organised crime group that was running a county lines network – a term renowned for exporting illegal drugs both in Greater Manchester and across the country, often using violence and coercion towards vulnerable people and children along the way.

Between Wednesday August 3, 2022, and Tuesday November 1, 2022, Clarke sent almost 7,000 text messages to multiple people who suffer from addiction.

On a daily basis vulnerable people received messages such as “trigazon prime deliveries on time” and “on til late get on me”.

However, the messages came to an end on Tuesday, November 1 when a warrant was executed at his property and officers seized the phone found hidden underneath his bed along with £600 in cash.

The 35-year-old’s criminal activity was uncovered during an investigation by GMP’s County Lines Team.

Clarke was found in the landing after officers burst through the door, and he was swiftly arrested. 

A search of a vehicle located a few streets away uncovered cocaine prepared for individual deals.

At an earlier hearing, Clarke pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine and was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on Friday February 10 to 31 months.

At the end of the sentencing, Judge Nicholas Clarke KC said that the money seized off him can be given to drug charities in Bolton.

Read more: Police appeal after teenage girl sexually assaulted by masked man in Bolton

Read more: Bolton man charged with assault and controlling and coercive behaviour

Detective Sergeant Chris Woodburn, from the County Lines Team, said: “Once again we have removed the controller of the phone that was crucial in reaching vulnerable people who the county line networks use to make illegal profits.

“Clarke, like many of the drug dealers, are relentless in sending out these messages but we are hot on their heels and determined to remove the phone to protect these vulnerable people.

“Help us, help them by providing information on drug activity that you believe could be taking place in your community, and we will do the rest.”

To spot the signs of drug activity visit our website and to report information please either contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contact GMP via 101.

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