AN ATHERTON man has been jailed after pleading guilty to drug dealing offences involving cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. 

Following the start of an investigation into the supply of class A drugs in January 2023, it became known that a drugs line was operating around Leigh selling crack cocaine and heroin.

This led to the identification of 22-year-old Lewis Grady, who officers later located on his bicycle following reports of drug dealing on Orchard Lane in Leigh.

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Leigh Journal: Grady was stopped and searched on Orchard Lane in LeighGrady was stopped and searched on Orchard Lane in Leigh (Image: Google Maps)
After Grady was stopped and searched on Orchard Lane in April, officers found a "large quantity of white and brown powder along with cannabis" in his possession, as well as a large quantity of cash.

He was then arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, although provided ‘no comment’ when interviewed by police.

Following Grady’s arrest, a house search was carried out at his home address where more drugs and cash were found along with drug paraphernalia. Grady was released under investigation pending forensic and phone enquiries.

In October, further warrants were conducted at addresses associated to Grady by the Force County Lines Team, which led to the identification of several of his personal belongings, including a passport and further class A drugs - crack cocaine and cash to the value of £6,318.

As officers continued to seek the whereabouts of the 22-year-old, he handed himself in to police at Ashton-under-Lyne Police Station, where he was interviewed and later remanded into custody.

The investigation concluded with a case at Bolton Crown Court on Friday, February 9, where Grady pleaded guilty to three counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine, heroin and cannabis, and two counts of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin.

Following his guilty pleas, the 22-year-old, of Samuel Street in Atherton, was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail.

Leigh Journal: Grady was jailed for three years and nine monthsGrady was jailed for three years and nine months (Image: GMP)
A spokesperson for GMP’s Force County Lines Team said: “Thanks to our team’s diligent work we have secured a lengthy sentence for a key player in a drugs line harming members of the community and he will now be spending a considerable amount of time behind bars.

"From phone downloads, Grady sent footage to his girlfriend explaining that he couldn’t come home as he was too busy working long hours ‘bagging up’ drugs with other younger members of the drugs line.

“Drugs supply and organised crime has been blighting the community of Wigan and its surrounding areas for quite some time now and we’re continuing to be relentless in tackling serious and organised crime.”

County Lines

A county line is the advertisement of illegal drugs via a mobile phone, known as a ‘graft line’, the drugs are then moved by dealers from one area to another as well as to other places across the country.

The organised crime groups will often exploit children to transport the drugs and money profited from its supply. The exploitation often includes using the homes of vulnerable adults as a base to store and deal the drugs from – a term known as cuckooing.

If you have information relating to organised crime – no matter how small – please contact either Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or call GMP on 101.

Below are services available to seek help and support:

  • Catch 22 is a specialist support and rescue service for young people and their families who are criminally exploited through county lines.
  • Safecall offers a safe space for people affected by exploitation to talk about their experiences in confidence and can also provide reassurance, support and help formulate a plan via their dedicated service.
  • Young people can contact Crimestoppers via Fearless to access non-judgemental information and advice.
  • The National Crime Agency County Lines website explains more about county lines and indicators of exploitation in your area.
  • The Safeguarding Network have helpful tips for understanding indicators of exploitation and what may make a young person more vulnerable to being exploited.