20-year-old drug runner locked up in Yorkshire County Lines investigation

A County Lines drug runner who claimed he carried a knife to chop apples has been locked up for four years for pedalling heroin and crack cocaine in Harrogate and Ripon.

Curtis Gary Anthony Coburn, aged 20, has been jailed for his part in a Harrogate County Lines operation (Photo: NYP)

Curtis Gary Anthony Coburn, aged 20, from Sale, near Manchester will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute after being sentenced at York Crown Court on Monday, October 7.

Corburn was a typical County Lines drug dealer, regularly travelling from Manchester to North Yorkshire where he stayed at various addresses of known and sometimes vulnerable drug users in a practice known as “cuckooing”.

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In December 2018, Coburn was found at a property in Harrogate where he told officers he was homeless and was carrying a lock-knife to chop apples and open tins, yet he was in possession of £805 in cash.

In January, officers attended the home of a vulnerable drug user in Ripon and found Coburn alone at the address. He was found in possession of 38 wraps of heroin and cocaine, a bag of cannabis, two mobile phones and £635 in cash.

He was arrested at various intervals during this period and charged with a drug and weapon related offences, he was remanded in custody in July pending his court hearing on 7 October at which he pleaded guilty to the following charges:

Possession with intent to supply heroin – sentenced to two years

Possession with intent to supply cocaine – sentenced to two years to run consecutive

Possessing an offensive weapon (lock-knife) – sentenced to four months

Possession of cannabis x 2 – sentenced to two weeks and one month

He was also sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for breaching a suspended sentence order.

The total custodial time is four years.

Detective Constable Tom Barker of North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Expedite team, said: “Coburn caused misery to communities in Harrogate and Ripon and we are pleased he is now behind bars.

"He fits the typical county lines drug runner profile and was himself exploited by out-of-town drug dealers further up the chain.

"As well as taking a potentially dangerous person off the streets, we hope his time in custody allows him to get help to divert his behaviour to something more positive.

"He is 20 years old and no doubt a victim of criminal exploitation, but that does not and cannot excuse his criminal behaviour.

“We urge any young person who is trapped in such a cycle of criminality to get help and find a way out before it’s too late.”