Major West Midlands county lines operation ends with drug dealers jailed for 251 years between them

Lee Sheldon Carr, from Moseley, cuckooed a drug addict’s address in the market town and used it as a base to supply crack cocaine and heroin
Lee Sheldon Carr, from Moseley, took over a drug addict’s address in the market town and used it as a base to supply crack cocaine and heroin Credit: West Midlands Police

A major County Lines operations has ended with the jailing of a man who ran a drugs network from Birmingham into Leominster.

Lee Sheldon Carr, from Moseley, 'cuckooed' a drug addict’s address in the market town and used it as a base to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

Cuckooing is a practice where people take over a person's home and use the property to facilitate exploitation.

On Thursday, April 7, Carr was jailed for six years and nine months after admitting conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

It’s the latest, and final, success in Operation Ballet – a joint operation between the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and West Mercia Police into County Lines running into Hereford, Malvern and Leominster.

Carr is the 64th person to be jailed under Op Ballet.

Police brought down 11 significant County Lines and put offenders behind bars for a total of 251 years and two months.

West Midlands ROCU Detective Inspector Julie Woods oversaw Op Ballet. She said: “The operation began back in 2017 with a series of co-ordinated raids on drug dealers across the West Midlands.

"It’s been a challenging investigation, lots of covert enquiries to identify offenders and detailed phone work to evidence the extent of their drug dealing.

"Cases have been delayed due to Covid but we’ve been determined to ensure these gangs were brought to justice.

"Carr exploited a drug user as part of his operation and that kind of exploitation, with children often groomed to sell drugs in the street, is part of the County Lines model.

"These offenders are ruthless and think nothing of exploiting vulnerable people, putting them at risk of serious harm, while they sit back and count the money.

"I hope this operation shows how seriously we take County Lines dealing and acts as a warning to offenders that they face many years behind bars."

Carr ran what was known as the ‘AKBG’ County Line which was found to have a significant foothold on the drugs market in Leominster.

The 29-year-old used a Birmingham associate to travel to Leominster and co-ordinate sales on his behalf, though he occasionally made the trip himself using hire cars.

Officers raided his home in Chestnut Road, Moseley on November 27, 2018 and found the main drugs line plus £2,000 in cash.

Examination of the phone revealed the extent of his drug dealing.

In August 2020 Carr’s 27-year-old co-conspirator was jailed for two years eight months.

Information from the community played an important role in helping us bring down these County Lines networks.

If anyone suspects drug dealing in their community they should contact their police force on 101 or call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.