Toni Cross, aged 41, from Merseyside, has been sentenced to four years for offences in Cumbria and Merseyside.
Cross appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Jan 18) for sentencing after pleading guilty to offences relating to the supply of heroin and crack cocaine in Cumbria.
Cross also appeared today following charges by Merseyside Police for possession with intent to supply class A drugs namely Heroin and Crack Cocaine on 4th October 2019. This follows the recovery of 55 wraps of crack cocaine with street value of £550 and 44 wraps of Heroin valued at £410.
Operation Funicular was a County Lines investigation by the South Area Drugs Unit from July 2019 to November 2019 into an organised crime gang, based in Merseyside named ‘Jay Jay’.
Officers found that a vehicle belonging to Cross travelled regularly from Merseyside to Cumbria throughout July and August 2019.
On the 4th October Merseyside police arrested Cross for an unrelated matter to the investigation, albeit the arrest was in relation to the supply of class A drugs namely Heroin and Crack Cocaine in the Merseyside area.
On 26th November 2019 police officers stopped Cross’s vehicle on Park Road, just on the outskirts of Barrow. The driver of the vehicle was Toni Cross alongside a front seat passenger. During a search officers recovered a SIM card later identified as the 'Jay Jay' line. Cross and the passenger were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Whilst in custody Cross was searched and found in possession of a kinder egg, this was forensically tested and found to have traces for Heroin and Cocaine.
On the 19th February 2020, Cross was arrested in Merseyside and brought into custody in Kendal, the arrest was made following investigators finding evidence that Cross was a key member of the gang, acting as a driver and courier of drugs between Merseyside and Barrow carrying out numerous journeys to Barrow in Furness, Cross received payment in cash for her involvement with the organised crime group which she denied in her initial interview with detectives.
A spokesperson for the South Cumbria Drugs Unit said:
“This was a very sophisticated and complex inquiry that took many hours of dedicated detailed work from detective officers within the south of the county.
“Prosecuting criminals who target some of our most vulnerable members of our community by bringing illicit drugs into the area is a key priority for police and operations such as this will continue.
“We will target those at all levels of the criminality from locals who facilitate the groups to those at the upper echelons who run such enterprises and exploit others.”