DETECTIVES have warned drug dealers ‘your time is up’ as a 'county lines dealer' became the latest to be jailed for selling heroin and crack in Barrow.

Jack Murphy, 18, of Nightingale Road, Liverpool admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was sentenced today at Preston Crown Court to three years and two months.

The court heard Murphy was involved in a county lines drug supply network and had a mobile phone from which messages would be sent to drug users in Barrow alerting them of the availability of ‘the best Class A drugs in town’.

County lines is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs.

These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as ‘deal lines’, to take orders from drug users.

Police arrested Murphy and a number of accomplices in May 2019 at an address in Longway in Barrow.

Murphy’s ‘dealer line’ was found to contain group messages to up to 90 people advertising Class A drugs for sale, one of which was sent just moments before police raided the address.

Officers also recovered almost £2,500 in cash and cocaine during the raid.

Two plastic wraps of a brown powder were also recovered.

However, these were tested and found to be nutmeg, which police say was likely to be sold as fake heroin.

A number of knives were also recovered from the address in Longway including a dagger and a foot-long machete.

Murphy’s co-defendants have already been sentenced for their roles.

Georgie Keating, 20, of Cromford Road, Liverpool, and Kerry Mallett, 46 of Longway, Barrow, were sentenced in October 2019 after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

In a direct message to dealers Detective Superintendent Dean Holden said ‘your time is up’.

“What I would say to these people who come to Barrow to sell drugs is ‘we’re coming for you and we will find you’,” he said.

“Your time is up and this latest conviction is part of a series of investigations aimed at putting a stop to these ruthless dealers from big cities who target vulnerable people in towns like Barrow.”

A spokesman for Cumbria Police’s Drugs Unit said: “Despite his young age, Murphy was an important player in the organised crime group which trafficked Class A drugs into Barrow.

“Following his arrest, he sought to evade justice by going on the run but was tracked down and has now faced justice.

“County lines drug dealing is a blight on the county and significantly contributes to immense suffering to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

“However, Cumbria Constabulary is committed to rooting it out, as evidenced by this most recent court result.”