Drug dealer ran Staffordshire cocaine and heroin ring from prison cell
CONVICTED drug dealer Damien Miller helped run a cocaine and heroin ring while serving time at an open prison – and paid thousands of pounds into his bank account.
The 31-year old co-ordinated deals across North Staffordshire while on day release from HMP North Sea Camp in Lincolnshire.
Miller was jailed for 10 years at Stafford Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.
His friend John Phillips, who played a similarly significant role in the conspiracy, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years after admitting to the same offences.
Seven others who were involved in the enterprise were also jailed, with four more due to be sentenced today.
Miller, formerly of High Street, Knutton, had previously been jailed for seven years for conspiring to supply cocaine in 2009.
Judge Michael Cullum told him: "You had a role which was highly significant or borderline leading.
"Clearly you conducted this enterprise while held at an open prison. This is a seriously aggravating feature."
Police tracked members of the conspiracy between March and June of last year, and intercepted deliveries of drugs and cash on a number of occasions.
Officers were then able to link lower level couriers to Miller and Phillips through mobile phone records.
Phillips, of Rownall Road, Meir, had a more hands-on role in the Potteries, while Miller kept his distance in Lincolnshire.
But the pair were in regular contact whenever Miller was released from prison.
Over the course of the investigation police seized more than 1kg of cocaine and heroin from the conspirators.
Miller deposited £15,000 in his bank account over the three month period, while Phillips' income totalled £2,680.
Judge Cullum told the defendants: "You each played a part in a conspiracy to supply class-A drugs in North Staffordshire.
"You variously collected, harboured distributed and profited from drugs. Serving an existing market is no mitigation. You were encouraging and perpetuating that market."
The other defendants, who pleaded guilty to various offences connected to the conspiracy, were: Otis Fox, aged 22, of Kiln View, Hanley; Byron Dunkley, aged 21, of Talbot Road, Stafford; Anthony Bostock, aged 32, of Keelings Road, Northwood; Kerry Wilkinson, aged 25, of Heathcote Road, Longton; Scott Mosedale, aged 26, of Sapphire Drive, Norton; Liam Myatt, aged 22, of Wise Street, Dresden; and Stephanie Pitchford, aged 22, of Almond Grove, Blurton.