Brit town labelled druggiest city in UK by dealers flocking there to sell

A County Lines drug gang from the Midlands set up on the south coast of England after searching news websites to find the "druggiest cities in the UK".

Three Birmingham dealers chose Torquay, Devon after finding an article in The Guardian that said it was a hotspot for drug activity.

The gang then hired a car and booked into a Premier Inn in the seaside town before police rumbled them soon after.

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Curtis Garvey, 30, Nathan McCarthy, 29, and Levi Lovelace, 29, travelled from the Midlands and embarked on a short drug selling spree.

The three men each admitted supplying cocaine and heroin and were jailed at Exeter Crown Court for a combined total of nine years and eleven months.

Three drug suppliers from Birmingham researched 'druggiest cities in the UK' on Google before ending up in Torquay, a court heard. The men were arrested by police on Rock Walk with cash, wraps and mobile phones.

On one of the phones police found a number of recent searches for press articles explaining drug problems in seaside resorts.

The gang looked at Paignton and St Ives before booking in at the Premier Inn on the English Riviera.

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Mr Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said the offending dated back to February 2020. Lovelace hired a Nissan Qashqai from Birmingham Airport and made several trips to Torbay with Garvey before all three booked into the hotel.

CCTV showed them in the Union Street and Abbey Road area before their arrest on Rock Walk on February 13. £5,000 and 74 wraps of class A drugs were recovered from the scene.

When police looked at McCarthy's phone they discovered he had been reading the Guardian and an article 'Death by the sea: how drug abuse is scarring Britain’s coastal towns' and searching 'hotspots for heroin deaths'.

Their 'research eventually led to Torquay', said the prosecutor and they started looking for locations to meet and deal.

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