A woman who ran a Salford beauty salon enjoyed ‘luxury’ items including expensive cars and designer clothes through her involvement in drug dealing, a court heard.
Samantha Cox, 30, ran the Miami Glow salon on Littleton Road, which had a ‘modest turnover’.
Despite this, she was seen driving a Range Rover and later a Porsche Macan worth about £50,000.
She also had expensive goods including designer clothes, shoes and other items worth more than £30,000.
Her former partner Lee Worthington, 36, previously jailed for 10 years for drugs offences, used illicit phones to remain involved in crime from prison.
He helped to launder drug money, using associates he knew from jail.
The pair, as well as four other defendants including Worthington’s 33-year-old brother Stephen, have all been jailed for their involvement in the dealing of heroin and cocaine in Salford.
Manchester Crown Court heard police recovered more than 550 wraps of heroin and 800 wraps of crack cocaine, which the prosecution described as a ‘snapshot’ of the drugs conspiracy.
One seizure of heroin and cocaine from another property on Littleton Road was worth £50,000, the court heard.
Prosecutors said they accepted Miami Glow was a legitimate business, but said it had a ‘modest turnover’.
“Samantha Cox maintained a lifestyle of some luxury, and the prosecution say that that was funded by her involvement in the supply of drugs,” prosecutor Adrian Farrow said.
Figures showed in 2018 the salon made a profit of just over £5,000, and that Cox took a wage of about £10,000 in 2018, and £12,000 in 2019.
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The court heard Cox was seen driving a Range Rover, and then a Porsche Macan, which she bought in May 2019, putting down a £25,000 cash deposit and committing to monthly payments of £550.
“The prosecution say it appears to be beyond her legitimate income,” Mr Farrow said.
They said Cox stored cash and drugs for the conspiracy.
Mr Farrow said police also seized expensive goods including furniture, electrical items, designer clothing and shoes worth more than £30,000, from a flat above the salon.
The court heard Cox said she was ‘paid’ for her role in the drugs conspiracy.
“Mr (Lee) Worthington called the shots and she did his bidding, and was rewarded for that,” Cox’s barrister Chloe Fordham said.
The court heard that Cox says some of the items were not designer and not genuine.
Police also found a Ted Baker bag which contained about £44,000 in Cox’s mother’s home, the court heard.
Officers began to monitor movements around the salon in March 2019, and noticed that drug dealing was taking place in a nearby alleyway.
Street dealer Joanna Zblewska, 42, was witnessed dealing from the alleyway, often concealing drugs in her bra, the court heard.
Another man, Darren Horrocks, 50, was said to have had a ‘managerial’ role, before being arrested.
Zblewska was arrested at the same time as Horrocks, but she continued to be involved.
After Horrocks’ arrest, Lee Worthington’s brother Stephen took over the ‘management’ role, Mr Farrow said.
Another street dealer, Christopher Corbett, 53, said he dealt to fund his own drug habit.
Despite being in prison at HMP Dovegate in Staffordshire, prosecutors said Lee Worthington was in ‘close contact’ with drug dealers in Salford.
They said he helped transfer the cash proceeds of drug dealing in small amounts to different people’s accounts, making it ‘difficult to trace’.
Police found that cash transfers worth more than £22,000 had been made to at least 36 people, who all had a connection to the prison such as being a relative or an inmate or a visitor.
Cox, of Littleton Road, Salford; Horrocks, of Valencia Avenue, Salford; Stephen Worthington, of Alfred Street, Worsley; Zblewska, of Mulberry Road, Salford; and Corbett, of Fram Street, Salford; admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.
Cox also admitted converting criminal property and concealing criminal property.
Her lawyer Ms Fordham said the defendant felt ‘under pressure’ to help her former partner, and felt a sense of ‘loyalty’.
Lee Worthington admitted money laundering.
Rob Kearney, for Stephen Worthington, said he felt ‘misguided loyalty’ to his brother, and said he lived on ‘modest means’.
The sentences handed down:
- Cox was jailed for five years and five months.
- Lee Worthington was jailed for three years and five months.
- Stephen Worthington was jailed for six years and six months.
- Zblewska was jailed for six years and six months.
- Corbett was jailed for three years and nine months.
- Horrocks was jailed for six years and ten months.
A Proceeds of Crime investigation is set to take place, with a hearing scheduled for July.