AN intricate drugs network that spread cocaine to towns across the north west was based in Warrington.

The 18-man criminal enterprise had members in Paddington, Bewsey, Winwick Quay, Callands, Orford, Grappenhall and Wilderspool.

Warrington Crown Court heard this week how Leon Cullen, aged 24, of Westbridge Mews, Paddington, was the ‘managing director’ of the drugs cartel.

With the help of ‘operations manager’ John Large, aged 24, of Chiltern Crescent, Winwick Quay, he began organising large deliveries of cocaine from Manchester-based dealer Christopher Bullock in August 2010.

‘Right hand man’ 22-year-old Graham Berryman, of Bewsey Road, Bewsey, took deliveries from Bullock in return for free drugs and accommodation.

He took instructions from Large, the hands-on force of the operation, and picked up packages of up to 1.5kg of cocaine from Bullock on a moped bought by Cullen.

Drugs stashed in Aldi carrier bags were exchanged in the car parks of Blockbuster on School Brow, in Howley; Subway on Kerfoot Street, in Bewsey, and Alban Retail Park.

Prosecuting, Owen Edwards described how Cullen used contacts in the property trade to find Berryman rented accommodation.

He moved home three times during the conspiracy as police closed in on him.

The court heard how Berryman would run any errand for the ringleader, even taking him beer on a Saturday night.

A Bewsey business was used as a front to launder money made from the deals.

Envelopes containing up to £20,000 were picked up and dropped off at Spot on Signs, on Longshaw Street.

Owner Jonathan Duckers, of Hallfields Road, Orford, and his father Barry Duckers, of Trafford Avenue, Bewsey, allowed drug money to be processed there.

Cullen, whose enterprise fed many small-time dealers in Warrington, also organised large consignments of cocaine to be sent to dealers in Chesterfield and Lincolnshire.

He employed various delivery men to handle the drugs while other men were used as muscle to threaten customers and as security during the deals.

The cartel began to crumble on December 21, 2010, when Bullock was busted outside Berryman’s home at Barton Court in the town centre with almost 4kg of cocaine in 16 quarter kilogram blocks. It had a purity of eight per cent and was worth up to £160,000.

Large and Cullen were arrested in later raids at their homes.

After the consignment was seized Cullen ordered a further 4kg of cocaine to be picked up from near Manchester Airport but the end was near.

On January 21, Berryman was arrested and his mobile phone recovered.

It contained every text sent by Large and Cullen with intimate details of deals and the people connected to them.

A search of Spot on Signs found a laptop containing spreadsheets with dealers’ lists and outstanding debts worth nearly £100,000.

The sentences: 30 - Michael Johnson Alfreton, Derbyshire - 7yrs 31 - Wayne Chapman Lincoln - 3 yrs 8mths 47 - Andrew Lloyd Newark, Nottinghampshire - 5yrs 23 - Matthew Nestor Wansfell Place, Longford 3yrs 4mths 20 - Jake Smith Cardigan Close, Callands - 3yrs 31 - Stuart Bamford Newhaven Road, Longford - 7yrs 64 - Barry Duckers Trafford Avenue, Bewsey - 5yrs 30 - Jonathan Duckers Hallfields Road, Orford 6yrs 9mths 35 - Gregory Humphries Ashley Close, Grappenhall 4yrs 6mths 26 - Christopher Liprot Egremont Court, Wilderspool Causeway - 5yrs 3mths 29 - Mark Little Fairbrother Crescent, Orford 5yrs 22 - Graham Berryman Bewsey Road, Bewsey - 7yrs 24 - Leon Cullen Westbridge Mews, Padgate 9yrs 8mths 24 - John Large Chiltern Crescent, Longford - 9yrs 4mths 28 - Christopher Bullock Stretford, Manchester 5yrs 8mths 25 - Jason Paphitis Poplars Avenue, Orford - 4 yrs 33 - Gareth Davies Toll Bar Road, Longford 3yrs 4mths 38 - John Ashton St Hughs, Lincolnshire - 4yrs