THREE members of a county lines gang operating in Widnes have been jailed for more than 11 years for dealing drugs.

On Friday, Alan Grimes, Alan Pierce and Declan Cooney appeared at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

During the hearing, the court heard that plain clothes officers spotted a car leaving an address in Widnes which was linked to county lines drug dealing on Wednesday, October 5 2022.

The officers followed the car to Grimes’ address nearby, and arrested Pierce, who was driving the vehicle on suspicion of drugs offences.

Police also attempted to detain Cooney, who was a passenger in the vehicle, but he managed to flee on foot into Grimes’ house.

After officers forced entry into the property, Grimes was detained in his living room as Cooney barricaded himself in a bathroom and attempted to destroy a mobile phone which had been used as a burner to supply drugs.

Grimes was then subsequently taken to hospital, where doctors discovered he had 19 wraps of crack cocaine and 14 wraps of heroin concealed in his anus.

Runcorn and Widnes World: They were arrested in October 2022 for supplying class A drugsThey were arrested in October 2022 for supplying class A drugs (Image: Cheshire Police)

In their sentencing hearing Grimes, of Brentfield in Widnes, was jailed for four years, Cooney, of Newlyn Road in Liverpool, was sentenced to three years and seven months and Pierce, of Bolton Avenue in Kirby, was jailed for two years and nine months.

“I welcome the sentences handed to Cooney, Grimes and Pierce and I hope they act as a warning to others planning to deal drugs in Cheshire,” said Police Constable Nicholls on Widnes proactive policing team.

“This case is an excellent example of proactive policing by Cheshire officers who have acted swiftly to secure three suspects and key evidence which has led to their conviction.

“County Lines drug dealing will not be tolerated in Cheshire and this case reinforced our stance on those who enter into this type of criminality.

“Once you come to our attention, you will not be able to shake us off your tails until you have been arrested and brought to justice.

“Whilst this investigation has concluded, the war on drugs continues, and I would like to encourage anyone with information on drug dealing to report this to us via 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers - you will be listened to, and we will act on information we receive.”