Drug dealer caught with ‘burner’ phone going off in his pocket

Gary Crane. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Gary Crane. PIC: Norfolk Police. - Credit: Archant

A man who has battled an “entrenched” drug addiction for more than 40 years was caught by police with a county lines burner phone going off in his pocket, a court has heard.

Gary Crane, 54, became involved in county lines drugs supply in Great Yarmouth last summer.

Norwich Crown Court heard police were called by a member of the public following concerns over drugs.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said police attended and Crane was found on a bike with a burner phone on him which was “ringing continuously”.

The phone was examined and was full of drugs-related messages with bulk drug marketing messages going out and incoming orders.

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He was also found to have £435 in cash in his underpants as well as three wraps of heroin.

When interviewed by police Crane admitted the heroin was his.

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He also admitted he had been involved in drug dealing.

Mr Jackson said Crane had entered his pleas on the basis he was “paying off a drugs debt”.

He said Crane got drugs on tick and, as an “entrenched addict” was supplying drugs to expunge his debt.

Crane, of Middlegate, Yarmouth, who has more than 100 previous convictions, appeared on Wednesday for sentence having previously admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin on July 12 last year and possession of heroin on the same date.

Rob Pollington, mitigating for Crane, said he had a long-standing drugs addiction, was vulnerable and in the “grip of an addiction”.

Mr Pollington said pressure had initially been put on Crane with threats made by dealers to get inside his address.

He said Crane was not a “wiling participant from the very outset but became more and more willing” as it went on.

But Mr Pollington said that Crane wanted to deal with this addiction.

Judge Katharine Moore, who presided over the hearing via Skype following the coronavirus lockdown, accepted he had a long-standing drug addiction going back between 40 and 45 years.

But Judge Moore said Crane had a “long history of failing to comply with court orders” and insisted the least sentence she could pass in this case was 40 months in prison.

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