THREE men have been sentenced after they admitted selling illegal drugs in a Cheshire town and its surrounding areas.

Nico Edgar, Andrew Cartlidge and Gavin Radcliffe all appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday, May 10, where they were sentenced to a total of 11 years and six months in prison.

The trio had earlier pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of criminal property.

Edgar, 25, of Tipton Drive, Manchester, was sentenced to nine years in prison; Cartlidge, 40, of no fixed abode, was jailed for two years and six months; and Radcliffe, 43, of Devon Close, Macclesfield was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 2 years.

The case relates to the selling of Cocaine and Heroin and possession of criminal property between 13 May 2023 and 27 July 2023.

Detectives had been investigating county lines teams who were supplying Cocaine and Heroin in Macclesfield and identified the AJ line.

Their enquiries established that Edgar was the controller of the AJ line and was regularly advertising the sale of Class A drugs.

They traced Edgar to an address in Nether Peover and observed transactions taking place outside the house.

A warrant was carried out on Thursday, July 27, at the home of Edgar and his partner. Edgar tried to escape by jumping out of a first-floor bedroom window naked and running off down the street.

Officers found him moments later hiding in the driveway of a neighbouring property behind a parked car and he was arrested.

A search of the address recovered a quantity of Class A drugs, cash and two graft phones.

The investigation led officers to conclude Edgar was in a leading role in the AJ county lines team, while Cartledge had a significant role dealing drugs on behalf of Edgar, and Radcliffe was believed to be the courier.

Subsequent enquiries led to second warrant at the home of Radcliffe in Devon Close, Macclesfield.  A number of items were seized including mobile phones, which were linked to Cartledge.

All three were subsequently charged with the offences.

DC Daniella Jervis, of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit,  said: “It was clear during our investigation that the AJ gang were key players in the supply of illegal drugs in the Macclesfield area and I welcome the sentences that have been handed to them.

“This case is just one of many investigations we continue to carry out to cauterize the county lines network and starve the supply of drugs to Macclesfield and across the county.

“We are relentless in our pursuit to rid Cheshire of illegal drug activity and will continue to investigate, and bring to justice, those intent on causing misery in our communities through peddling harmful illegal drugs.”

Detective Inspector Rob Balfour, of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, added: "The length of Edgar’s sends a strong message that County Lines drug dealing will not be tolerated in Cheshire.

"The harm this type of dealing causes to individuals and communities is well documented and Cheshire Police have dedicated resources to tackle anyone that is prepared to deal drugs in our communities.

"I would urge anyone with information around this type of offending to come forward, via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, to help us continue to prosecute anyone involved in County Lines dealing and thank the team for their hard work to ensure a successful conclusion to this investigation."