Drug dealer ran Shanks line in Colchester for Albanian overlords

Ipswich Crown Court.

Rodney Addo will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

The sentencing hearing of a man who was running a drugs line selling crack cocaine and heroin in Colchester has been adjourned for a week.

Rodney Addo, 41, was running the "Shanks" line and sent thousands of marketing messages to drug users offering deals on crack cocaine and heroin, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

When a police officer was reviewing the phone of a class A drug user, he came across two incoming messages advertising drugs for sale.

The number was active from July 2020, and when phone records were analysed, it was revealed 7,295 messages had been sent over 11 months. 

Police linked that number to Addo and CCTV footage showed him regularly topping up the phone at a shop near his home in London between August 2020 and July 2021.

Addo's personal phone was also co-located with the drugs phone on a number of occasions, the court heard. 

Police arrested Addo on September 14, 2021, and a search of his home was undertaken along with another address. 

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Officers seized £3,000 in cash, a Nokia phone and a small amount of cannabis, which he pleaded guilty to possessing at the magistrates' court, the court heard. 

At an earlier hearing Donal Lawlor, prosecuting, said: "He was dealing over a considerable period of time, with thousands of messages sent to 160 users."

Addo, who has 10 previous convictions for 35 offences, gave a "no comment" interview to police. 

Addo, of Digby Road, London, has admitted two offences of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. 

He was due to have been sentenced on Thursday but Recorder Richard Atchley adjourned the case until April 8 to allow the prosecution to consider his basis of plea.

David Langwallner, mitigating, said Addo lost his source of income when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and got into debt. 

Mr Langwallner said Addo "relapsed into a life of crime", and was "doing the bidding of Albanian overlords".