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UK News

Devon cocaine dealers operating from house owned by Church of England

by Will Maule

Four men have pleaded guilty to drug offences after dealing cocaine from a property owned by the Church of England. 

The group was arrested in Ide, near Exeter, Devon, back in May after police discovered about 2kg of the Class A drug in nearby woods. The street value of the drugs stash was estimated to be in the region of around £200,000. Police also recovered approximately £30,000 in cash during the raid.

Lester Purdy, 66, his son Jake, 25, and Julian Eslick, 46, of Cliff Bastin Close, Exeter, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine at Exeter Crown Court last week. Trevor Forbes, 58, of Oxford, admitted to a charge of conspiracy to transfer criminal property, which relates to cash seized from his car.

The court also heard that the house in which the men were arrested was a rental property owned by the Diocese of Exeter, which was built on a former rectory site. The Diocese of Exeter confirmed its ownership of the property after the initial raid in the spring.

Judge David Evans adjourned sentencing to 27 November. 


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