SIX men have pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court today (Tuesday, July 28) to being part of a county lines class A drugs gang.

The six men, the majority of them living in Chester, all admitted their part in a conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin between September 2019 and June 2020.

Bradley Wong, 21, of Blacon Point Road, Chester; James McLeod, 30, of Hillside Road, Chester; Joseph Birthwright, 21, of Parkfield Road, Broughton and Fergus Rideal, 21, of Long Lane, Saughall, all appeared at Chester Crown Court to enter their guilty pleas to the two charges.

McLeod was granted bail on conditions that he has a 6pm-6am curfew at his home address and is not allowed to own more than one mobile phone until sentencing.

The other three were granted unconditional bail.

Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said pre-sentence reports would be acquired for all four defendants, but added: "I tell you frankly, custody is the top option here. this is conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.

"If you have matters to put in order then I suggest you do so before sentencing."

Alex Freeman, 21, entered his guilty plea from HMP Berwyn, Wrexham and Ashley White, 28, of Canalside, Chester, entered his guilty plea after arriving in court from the cells.

Both were remanded in custody and no pre-sentence reports were requested for the pair.

All six defendants will be sentenced at Chester Crown Court on September 21-22.

  • Ryan Sheppard, 23, of Newhall Road, Upton, has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. his case was adjourned until August 5 for a hearing where a trial date will be set. Also scheduled to appear at that hearing are Ryan Wallace, 22, of Whitchurch Road, Chester and Frederick Pendleton, 44, of West Street, Chester, who have both been charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin but have not yet entered a plea.