A CARLISLE man has been handed a lengthy jail term – less than six months after his younger brother was locked up for involvement in the same cocaine supply enterprise.
The city’s crown court heard this afternoon how a local dealer recruited siblings Warren Graham, 25, and Ellis Graham, now 23, to collect two 1kg blocks of the class A drug on his behalf to further his illegal trade.
On January 30, Ellis Graham was caught by police near Carlisle as he transported high purity cocaine said to be potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds if sold on the street. A man without any previous convictions, he was jailed for 40 months in April after he admitted possessing the drug with intent to supply.
But following his sentencing, detectives were finally able to unlock a mobile phone seized from Ellis Graham which he had refused – out of fear – to provide the PIN for.
This revealed a cache of damning WhatsApp messages showing he and brother Warren had both been drawn into the criminal enterprise over a drug debt. Their messages, the court heard, described “what they were doing, who they were doing it for and how much they hoped to earn”.
“The Crown invite the inference,” said prosecutor Louise Cowen, “that the brothers owed (the dealer) money and saw the opportunity to work for him couriering drugs for cash, as an easy way out of their financial circumstances.”
Also a man of previous good character, Warren Graham was arrested at his place of work – Carlisle’s Pirelli factory – and later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine between January 9 and 21.
The Graham brothers’ parents were at the crown court today (THURS) and watched as Warren, of Hopes Hill Drive, Carlisle, was jailed for 54 months.
Before he passed sentence, Judge Nicholas Barker told Warren Graham: “I am sympathetic to them because they sit there knowing that their second son is about to be sent to prison for a lengthy period of time.
“Two children they have brought up to act responsibility, with integrity and decency. That upbringing, so well achieved, was undone by you and your brother in January of this year.”