A DRUGS gang was making up to £2,000 per day selling heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of Warrington, a court has heard.

Liam Grant and Alex Gibiliru are accused of heading up a Liverpool-based ‘county lines’ operation which peddled class A drugs in the town, and are currently standing trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Beginning last week, the jury was told that a police investigation codenamed Operation Bugbear employed covert surveillance of an organised crime group over several weeks between April and July last year.

Properties linked to the defendants were raided that summer, with 22-year-old Grant being amongst several suspects arrested at the time – although 26-year-old Gibiliru remained at large until November, before handing himself into police.

Officers found that drugs were being packaged at a house in the Old Swan area of Liverpool before being taken to Warrington in order to be sold, including from a property on Valiant Close in Fearnhead.

On average, it is estimated that the gang were making between £1,500 and £2,000 per day selling heroin and crack cocaine in the town.

Five other men and one woman have already admitted drug dealing offences in relation to the conspiracy, and will be sentenced at a later date.

But Grant and Gibiliru deny charges of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Prosecution barrister Ken Grant told the court: “The prosecution maintains that Alex Gibiliru and Liam Grant were important and significant participants in this drug gang.

Warrington Guardian:

Liverpool Crown Court

“They were not themselves going onto the streets of Warrington and interacting face-to-face with drugs users, they were too careful to do anything like that – they kept themselves removed from the actual day-to-day point of sale transactions to the public.

“This potentially risky role was left to others below them in the hierarchy of the gang, namely the others who have pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

“These two defendants were important members of the gang, and each had their own individual functions, which did not involve any face-to-face involvement with a drug purchaser.

“Liam Grant was careful to distance himself from the physical day-to-day operations of the drug enterprise – other members of the drug gang would liaise with and report to him, and in addition he has participated in the packaging of drugs in the Old Swan drug hub.

“Alex Gibiliru was an associate of Liam Grant – he was observed entering the drug hub.

“It is the prosecution’s case that the defendants were involved in a county lines sales operation, and it was a very lucrative commercial operation.”

Grant’s DNA was left on a set of scales upon which traces of heroin and cocaine were found, while his fingerprints were also discovered on other paraphernalia used in the packaging of the drugs.

And Gibiliru’s DNA was found on a wrap of heroin found in the Old Swan property, as well as a spoon used in mixing drugs with cutting agents.

The trial continues today, Monday, and is expected to run into the middle part of this week.