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SHAME SHAME...


TAXI DRIVER IMPORTED CLASS A DRUGS INTO CHESTER AND ELLESMERE PORT


A taxi driver helped import kilo- grammes of crack cocaine and heroin into Chester and Ellesmere Port. The Chester Standard reports that Paul Cusato, 31 from Ellesmere Port, was a “trusted courier” in the large Chester and Ellesmere Port drugs gang led by Mark Cavanagh, who was jailed in September. At Chester Crown Court on Monday, October 19, Cusato was sentenced along with fellow drug gang member Derek Silva, who the court heard was a street dealer in the Lache housing estate. Both had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. Judge Steven Everett sentenced Cusato to five-and-a-half years in


Derek Silva and Paul Cusato


prison, and Silva to four-and-a-half- years in prison. Prosecuting, Simon Parry said there were two main parts to the large drugs operation, split between the


JAIL FOR WAKEFIELD TAXI DRIVER WHO DENIED SPEEDING ON MOTORWAY


A Wakefield taxi driver who falsely claimed that he was not driving a car that was caught speeding on the motorway has been jailed. The BMW was captured on a speed camera travelling at 91mph on the M1 in the early hours of 8 November 2018. However, Naveed Asghar filled in a Notice of Intended Prosecution stating that he no longer owned the vehicle. Leeds Crown Court heard that Asghar claimed he had sold the vehicle to a car sales company but on investiga- tion it transpired that the firm had ceased trading two months previously. The BMW was also still insured to Asghar. Asghar, 33, from Wakefield, admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice. Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "Because you are a taxi driver you wanted to avoid having points on your licence. You were trying to undermine the criminal justice system.


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"Anyone who interferes with the oper- ations of the criminal justice system can rightly expect a custodial sen- tence. This is such a serious offence that nothing but custody can be justi- fied." He jailed him for nine months. Afterwards, Rachel Wainwright from the prosecutions and casualty pre- vention unit at West Yorkshire Police said: “I hope this serves as a lesson to other people who think they can sup- ply false details to the police. Not only will they be committing a crime but they could face prison time.”


Dell Line in Lache, and the Dark Line in Ellesmere Port. Cusato, a taxi driver employed by a Chester taxi company, made a number of trips to Wallasey, Liverpool and Manchester between October 2019 and February 2020 to collect bags of what were believed to be the class A drugs, before dropping them off at safe houses in Ellesmere Port to be distributed to dealers including Silva. The court heard that, as a taxi driver, he would be less likely to attract suspicion. While it could not be precisely calcu- lated how many drugs Cusato had imported to Chester and Ellesmere Port, it was ruled he had transported at least 5kg. He had four previous convictions for four offences, none of them for drug- related offences. Silva, 29, was responsible for dealing at least a kilogramme of class A drugs between October 2019 and February 2020, and had supplied wraps on more than one occasion to undercover police officers. On October 23, Silva was driving when his vehicle was stopped by police on his return to Chester. He initially came to a halt but then drove off. His car hit a tree and he ran away from the scene, before later being arrested. Silva had 22 previous convictions for 36 offences, including robbery and drug-related offences. Judge Everett said: “These were terri- ble offences. I have had to deal with cases like this week in, week out. These evil drugs are a blight on our society” Addressing Cusato, he said: “One thing that has come across is that you had a good upbringing. You had advantages that Derek Silva did not. What you did was wrong on so many levels.” Addressing Silva, he said: “You realise how much misery [these drugs] have dished out to members of the public. You could still do something with your life.”


NOVEMBER 2020


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