A county lines dealer from Liverpool and a drug dealer from Macclesfield have been jailed for more than 11 years.
Shaun Ventre, 21, and 31-year-old Tania Dewar, were both sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Friday 11 September.
Ventre, of no fixed abode, Liverpool, was sentenced to four years after admitting being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
Dewar, of Somerset Close, Macclesfield, was jailed for seven years and six months after she pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs (heroin and cocaine).
She was also convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and conspiring to throw class A drugs into a prison in connection with a separate case.
During the hearing the court heard how Ventre was a well-established county lines dealer who travelled from Liverpool to Macclesfield on a regular basis to distribute illegal drugs to his network of dealers – which included Dewar.
The case against them began on 10 January 2020 when they were seen by officers leaving the home of a vulnerable man in Macclesfield.
The pair drove off from the address in a Mercedes which was subsequently stopped by officers.
Just before they came to a stop, Ventre was seen to throw a wedge of cash into the back of the vehicle.
The cash was later found to be more than £700. Another £480 was also found by Ventre’s car seat along with a quantity of designer clothing worth more than £700.
He was also found in possession of a mobile phone.
Dewar, who was driving the vehicle, was found to be in possession of more than 100 street wraps of heroin, two wraps of crack cocaine and a small amount of powder cocaine.
She also had a ‘graft’ phone – this is the main phone that is used to communicate with the county lines dealers and to sell drugs through.
All of the drugs and mobile phones were seized at the scene and Ventre and Dewar were both arrested.
The phones were subsequently analysed by officers who discovered a raft of messages which linked the pair to illegal drugs activity.
These included a hundreds of ‘blast’ messages. These are sales messages distributed to addicts to let them know that they are in the area selling drugs.
During questioning Ventre denied any involvement in dealing, and claimed that all of the money and clothing had been given to him by other people – stating that he lived on the generosity of others.
Dewar refused to answer any questions while in custody.
However, despite denying all knowledge, the pair pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them at Chester Crown Court on 7 August 2020.
Following their sentencing, Detective Constable Alan Davies said:
“The sentencing of Ventre and Dewar brings to a conclusion what has been a painstaking investigation into those involved in the supply of class A drugs in Macclesfield.
“Drugs have a hugely detrimental impact on communities, causing widespread misery. As such, cutting off supplies of illegal drugs and removing drug dealers from our communities is of paramount importance.
“Protecting vulnerable people who are the victims of such crimes is also vitally important to us.
“The sentences handed to Ventre and Dewar will undoubtedly play a crucial role in disrupting serious and organised crime and send out a very clear message that the supply of illegal drugs will not be tolerated.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said:
“Preventing and protecting Cheshire’s communities from serious and organised crime has been a key focus of my Police and Crime Plan and I’m really proud of the officers and staff involved in this operation.
“We must not forget that these county lines dealers can prey on vulnerable adults and exploit, coerce and manipulate children to deliver and deal drugs on their behalf.
“We will not allow that to happen in our communities and we will continue to work hard to protect vulnerable adults and children and ensure Cheshire is a safe place.”
To help make Chester a safer place for everyone and to find out more about the signs of county lines drug dealing visit: https://www.cheshire.police.uk/police-forces/cheshire-constabulary/areas/cheshire/campaigns/campaigns/2019/impact/.