County lines drug dealers - including one from Huntingdon - handed jail terms

PUBLISHED: 16:47 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 25 February 2019

Left to Right - Leon Ward and  Astra Marriott. Both were  found together in a bedroom where there was clear evidence of drug use, including numerous uncapped needles and a roll of cling film

Left to Right - Leon Ward and Astra Marriott. Both were found together in a bedroom where there was clear evidence of drug use, including numerous uncapped needles and a roll of cling film

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Two county lines drug dealers are today behind bars after being convicted of supplying class A drugs in Huntingdon.

Leon Ward, of Kenbury Gardens in Lambeth, London, was discovered by police at the home of Astra Marriott in Clarkson Terrace, Huntingdon, on 12 February last year.

Ward, 39, and Marriott, 37, were found together in a bedroom where there was clear evidence of drug use, including numerous uncapped needles and a roll of cling film.

Marriott had a phone in her hand which was seized and found to have a text message on the screen offering to supply class A drugs.

Ward was also found to be linked to the same phone after investigations revealed he had used the phone to call his partner back in London, Peterborough Crown Court heard.

Ward and Marriott were both arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

When police searched Ward they discovered he was hiding a wrap of cling film in his underwear, containing cocaine with a street value of £20.

Another search revealed a further white package containing cocaine and heroin worth £160, the court heard.

Up until this point Ward had denied hiding any items, but admitted swallowing cocaine and heroin before police gained entry to the house. After the seizure Ward told officers the drugs were his ‘personal stash’.

However, further examination of the drugs revealed that if they were divided into £10 street deals, they could have been sold for £360.

In police interview, Ward initially admitted taking drugs but said he didn’t sell them. He told police he came to Huntingdon on the train just an hour before being arrested.

Ward said he was at the house to smoke drugs but panicked when he heard police knock at the door.

He admitted first telling police he had swallowed some drugs to deter them from the idea he was hiding them anywhere else.

Marriott answered no comment to all police questions. However on 6 November, Ward was found guilty of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply after standing trial with Marriott at Peterborough Crown Court.

Marriott was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin during the same trial.

Ward was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court today (25 February), where he was handed six years in prison.

Marriott was sentenced at the same court on 27 November, where she was handed 12 months in prison for the above drugs offences.

She was given a further two years and 24 weeks for separate offences, which were two counts of fraud committed in 2016 and two counts of permitting her premises to be used for supplying class A drugs committed in January 2017.

PC Matt Purser said: “This case is an example of county lines drug dealing where Ward used the train network from London and his links in Huntingdon to supply class A drugs in Cambridgeshire.

“As a force, our priority is to remove dealers like Ward and Marriott from the streets of our county.

“This brilliant result not only cost the drugs line money but also put away a drug dealer from London and his local accomplice, preventing them from continuing their criminality.”

County lines refers to the dedicated mobile phones, or “lines”, used by criminals to deal drugs originating in London in other UK towns and cities.

More information about county lines can be found here:

https://www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Drug-networking

If you suspect somebody is involved in drug dealing, report this to us by reporting online at https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report or calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, you can report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or visiting https://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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