Michael Duck QC And Michelle Heeley Prosecute Operation Snowbelt For Complex Casework Unit

Fri, 29 Jul 2011

A DRUG-dealing mother of three bagged up cocaine in front of her young children after using their breakfast bowls and spoons to mix the drugs.
 
Pauline Raughter, of The Ring, Stechford, was caught with a kilo of cocaine on the kitchen table worth £40,000 when police arrested her.
 
Officers also recovered six empty kilo casings of cocaine at the home where she lived with her three children, who are all under the age of six.
 
The 32-year-old was jailed for six years at Birmingham Crown Court.
 
She was part of a gang of ten from across Birmingham and Solihull, who supplied cocaine worth £3.6 million across the city between June 2008 and last December.
 
They were jailed for a total of 45 years after they all admitted charges of conspiring to supply class A drugs.
 
The gang was led by Nathanial Thomas, aged 29, of Bushbury Road, Stechford, who was jailed for ten years.
 
Det Insp Martin Brennan, from Force CID, said: “By her own admission Pauline Raughter had been preparing such quantities of cocaine in front of her three children, all aged under six.
 
“She bagged the drugs up for sale on the kitchen table in the presence of her children, using their bowls and spoons to mix the drugs.
 
“To expose children to those dangers was particularly worrying for us.” Mr Brennan said the drug dealers were arrested following a two-year operation, codenamed Snowbelt.
 
The investigation saw large quantities of cocaine seized on a frequent basis, during which time evidence was collected to draw the conspirators together.
 
The covert investigation included surveillance and identified the key members of the gang were Thomas, Raughter, and her older brother Michael Raughter, aged 34 and also of The Ring, Stechford. He was jailed for eight years.
 
Mr Brennan said: “The chain of command in this gang was mirrored by the length of the sentences handed down.
 
“The work of officers and the Crown Prosecution Service was reflected in the fact each defendant pleaded guilty.
 
“Officers have ripped apart a network involved in the supply of millions of pounds-worth of cocaine across Birmingham.
 
“These drugs were supplied to people in Birmingham and we will continue to go after the suppliers. We welcome the sentences and will continue to crackdown on gangs who peddle drugs.” ...(cont)
 
 
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