Watch moment County Lines drug dealer is arrested after running operation in High Peak

A County Lines drug dealer who had been running a drug operation from Manchester into the High Peak area over the last two years has been jailed for more than four years.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 10:24 am
Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson, 21, who went by the drug dealing name Manc Dave, had bought a phone line, which had an established client base in the area, from another criminal and had begun moving both heroin and crack cocaine into the town.

Police officers from the Buxton CID team stopped a silver Ford Focus on the A6 in Chapel-en-le-Frith on May 20.

When the detectives opened the door of the car, they found Johnson lying down with his hands down the back of his trousers trying to hide several wraps of crack cocaine.

Following a search of Johnson seven wraps of crack cocaine were recovered, along with £128 in cash.

Three mobile phones were also found in the car, one of which was found to be the “line phone” which was constantly ringing after officers seized it and numerous marketing messages were found advertising both heroin and crack cocaine for sale and their supposed high quality.

Johnson, of Shelley Grove, Droylsden, Manchester, was charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine.

But this was not the first time that Johnson had been caught by officers with drugs in the High Peak area.

Back in 2019, after receiving information about a man drug dealing in Whaley Bridge, officers arrested Johnson on March 8, after he tried to run away from three cops along a canal path near Goyt Place.

He was found with around £200 in cash, 24 wraps of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. He was charged with another count of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Johnson was once again targeted by officers on May 13, 2020, and was found with cocaine and heroin, split into dealer wraps, while driving in New Mills.

His Honda Civic was found to be displaying false number plates and another set of false plates were found in the boot.

He was once again charged with possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Johnson appeared at Derby Crown Court on June 11, where he was sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Morrisey said: “With Manchester a short hop over the border criminals see towns like Buxton as an easy target.

“Our team, along with our roads policing, local neighbourhood and organised crimes units, work together to proactively detect, disrupt and bring to justice those who peddle drugs in our community.

“If you plan on running drugs into our county then be prepared to end up in a pair of handcuffs.”

Many County Lines operate from houses of drug users which are taken over, using intimidation and sometimes violence, known as cuckooing.

Sergeant Adam Harrison from the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “The first line of defence in tackling these gangs is our local community.

“If you have any information about drug dealing in the area then I would urge you to please contact the force, in confidence, at any time.

“We see on a day to day basis the pain these drugs cause and with your help we can bring those who are profiting from this misery to justice.”