‘Breaking Bad’ style gran cooked up drugs in kitchen to flog to prisoners

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A "Breaking Bad" style gran cooked up spice in her kitchen which was then sold to desperate prisoners in jail.

Gail Cotton had a contact in Australia called "Joe MacAussie" in a phone and imported ingredients from China which she mixed together, supplying the finished product around the UK.

Cotton, 55, had two tubs full of cocaine under her kitchen sink and included customers from prisons in Liverpool on her supply list, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The part-time cleaner targeted jails, where drugs are in high demand, and laced sheets of paper with spice so they could be sent into prison disguised as letters sent by inmates' loved ones.

Cotton, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, had her home raided by police who found £5,000 in cash, four mobile phone, five sim cards, as well as cocaine, spice and MDMA.

Text messages revealed her setting up deals with customers.

Cotton was jailed for three years at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

The court heard she let police into her home on November 10 last year, where one of her many phones contained numerous messages about selling spice and showed she played a leading role in conspiring to produce the substance.

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Messages between her and her Australian contact indicated she was operating the UK side of a drugs operation.

Prosecutor Miss Verity Quaite said Cotton had enough ingredients to make 10kg of spice, with a potential street value of between £30,000 and £50,000.

She added: "For the overall value (of all seized drugs) between £60,000 and £80,000 is a conservative estimate."

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Defending, Ridley Holland said: "She was working full time as a cleaner and had not abandoned that work ethic as a result of this side line, if it can be called that."

He said Cotton had no previous convictions and that she had "quite a family network."

Sentencing Judge Tina Landale told her: "You were producing spice as a very profitable business, knowing some of it would be sold to prisons.

"I have to take account of the harm your actions can cause and spice in prison can cause harm.

"It can cause bullying, intimidation and serious crime and pressure on the families to bring it in. And for the staff in prison it causes lawlessness, bad behaviour and aggression.

"The value of the drugs – cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and spice – is high and the profit to be made was very considerable."

Cotton of Melling Road, Oldham, admitted conspiring to produce spice with intent to supply; possession of cocaine with intent to supply; possession of ecstasy and MDMA with intent to supply; and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

  • Drugs
  • China
  • Crime
  • Courts
  • Prison News

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