A 20-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for four years for his part in a crime group supplying drugs into Cumbria.

Daniel Saunders, of Penryn Avenue, St Helens appeared at Carlisle Crown Court on March 15 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine at an earlier hearing.

The sentence forms part of Operation Scuttle – carried out in Kendal by the South Cumbria Drug Squad, which also led to 19-year-old Thomas Crehan being put behind bars for six years when he was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in February.

Police analysing Saunders’ mobile phone showed that he was sending out messages to let drug users know that heroin and crack cocaine were available to buy in the area.

The investigation showed how he used the phone for this purpose on numerous occasions between January 2 and January 30 and that he was in regular contact with Crehan, who was dealing the drugs.

On one occasion between these dates, Saunders himself was also observed dealing drugs in Kendal.

The operation concluded on February 10, when officers arrested Saunders at his home and found £610 in cash and a quantity of crack cocaine that would have made numerous street deals.

A spokesperson for the South Cumbria Drug Squad said: “Saunders played a significant role in the supply of drugs from St Helens into Kendal, controlling others in the drug supply chain such as Crehan, and holding the proceeds from this criminality.

“I am pleased that he has answered for his crimes.

“We have repeatedly stamped out these Organised Crime Groups and put those involved behind bars, but unfortunately, when one crime group is targeted and apprehended, another quickly replaces it.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure that these Merseyside groups realise they will not get away with bringing drugs to our county, and that they will end up before the courts.”