Gang of 14 in court accused of bringing cocaine into Portsmouth

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A DRUGS gang conspired to bring cocaine into Portsmouth through a contact in prison and in London, a court heard.

Thirteen men and one woman are on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court accused of being involved in supplying cocaine and money laundering.

Prosecutor Barnaby Shaw told the court Albanian brothers Skender and Lorenc Ymeraj were in contact with Agin Degani, who was in a Welsh prison.

The serving prisoner, who is not on trial as he was deported to Albania, put the conspirators in touch with a north London man known as Logistics, Mr Shaw said.

He added: ‘Mr Degani arranged the supply of drugs to Samuel McNamee through this North London man.

‘It’s the crown’s case that as a result of this contact the conspirators early in January and at least on two occasions drove up to the north London area.

‘It’s with this man, Logistics, they are in contact when they visit.

‘It’s the prosecution case that these visits were to source commercial quantities of cocaine.’

Jurors were shown body-worn video footage of McNamee’s home showing what Mr Shaw said was a ‘rich lifestyle’ not supported by his employment.

Mr Shaw said McNamee was ‘at the centre’ of the conspiracy.

Mr Shaw added: ‘They were part of an organised criminal game involved in the supply of high purity import quality cocaine in the Portsmouth area.

‘They used a succession of dirty phones to make it much harder to trace what they were doing.

‘They lived a rich lifestyle because they have the illegitimate gain of the supply of cocaine, the money made from it.’

He added: ‘These 14 people in the dock all played their part.’

The defendants in the dock are:

Daniel Paterson, 33, currently of Heritage Way, Gosport

Samuel McNamee, 28, of Rockrose Way, Portsmouth

George Browning, 41, of Mill Road, Emsworth

Larkhan Singh, 23, of Barton Place, Hornbeam Way, Manchester

Lulejta Ymeraj, 30, Lords Street, Portsmouth

Matthew Hallett, 33, of Anmore Road, Waterlooville

Adam Derry, 33, of Raymond Road, Portsmouth

Robert Hoadley, 34, of East Shore Way, Portsmouth

Jonathan Palmer, 38, Highgate Road, Portsmouth

Simon smith, 45, of Wymering Lane, Portsmouth

Kevin Williams, 45, of Willersley Close, Paulsgrove

Stacey Smith, 38, of Oriel Road, Portsmouth

Skender Ymeraj, 25, of Wingfield Street, Portsmouth

Lorenc Ymeraj, 31, of Lords Street, Portsmouth

McNamee, Lorenc Ymeraj, Skender Ymeraj, Browning, Hallett, Paterson, Derry, both Stacey Smith and Simon Smith, Palmer Williams, and Hoadley are charged with conspiring with Agin Degani and others to supply class A drugs between June 2013 and October 2014.

Singh is charged with converting criminal property knowing it was the benefit of criminal conduct between March 5, 2010 and September 21, 2014.

Lulejta Ymeraj is charged with converting criminal property knowing it was the benefit of criminal conduct between March 3, 2010 and September 21, 2014.

The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.

Proceeding.