A FORMER police officer ran a cocaine dealing plot in which he arranged for thousands of pounds worth of drugs to be transported to Crediton.

Gary Parkinson used a courier to make nine trips from Hyde in Manchester to Devon before he was caught carrying half a kilo of the drug which was worth up to £40,000.

Parkinson is a former Greater Manchester Police officer who had left the force just months earlier and had moved to Holsworthy.

He had close links with Crediton where his parents live.

He hired pest control company director Warren Harrison to act as courier and bring consignments of drugs from the North West.

Parkinson was arrested in a car with £7,000 cash and a dealer’s list of customers who owed him money.

The conspiracy started in November 2019 when Parkinson travelled to Manchester to meet Harrison and set up the supply line.

It carried on until the courier was stopped by police on January 14, 2020. Harrison’s nickname was Waz and he was driving a VW Transporter van with the registration WAZ 37.

Parkinson worked with local drug user Benjamin Mennell-Flisher, who lived in the centre of Crediton and whose home in the High Street was used as a base.

Parkinson, aged 42, of Fords Mill, Clawton, near Holsworthy; Warren Harrison, aged 61, of St Peter’s Drive, Hyde; and Benjamin Mennell-Flisher, aged 29, of High Street, Crediton, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine. They will all be sentenced later.

Harrison’s wife Jacqueline, aged 61, of the same address, has denied encouraging or assisting an offence and the jury at Exeter Crown Court has been told about the other pleas.

Mr Richard Posner, prosecuting, said Parkinson was a former Greater Manchester Police officer who returned to the city to source drugs which Harrison delivered in a series of nine trips before his arrest.

He said he was intercepted at Tiverton as he headed for a meeting with Parkinson and Mennell-Flisher at Shobrooke Park, near Crediton.

He had a black “burner” phone which had been bought by his wife.

Parkinson was found with £7,000 cash in a black bag in his van alongside a list of customers with amounts ranging from £2,500 to £11,700 next to their names.

Four names corresponded to initials stored in his phone. The amounts corresponded with sales in multiples of an ounce.

Police recovered a recording from the dashcam of Harrison’s van in which he tells an unknown passenger that he needed to be paid £500 a trip because the fuel alone was costing him £150.

The 499.99 grams of 77 per cent purity cocaine, which had been pressed and stamped with the letter A was worth at least £18,000 wholesale and £40,000 if it was cut and bagged up for street sales.

Surveillance showed Parkinson visiting Mennell-Flisher’s home and that of his parents in Tucker's Meadow, Crediton, which was listed as an address in Harrison’s satnav.

Mr Posner said CCTV from a shop near Jacqueline Harrison’s home showed her buying a top-up for the unregistered SIM only “burner” phone which her husband used to communicate with Parkinson.

The trial continues.