Police saw this man in a park and immediately arrested him

Michael Wickham
-Credit: (Image: Cheshire Constabulary)


A drug dealer was caught by police after using his phone to send 'flare' messages to sell crack cocaine and heroin.

Michael Wickham, 29, of no fixed abode in the Warrington area, was spotted by police on patrol in Victoria Park, Warrington on June 11.

Suspecting him of dealing drugs, police officers arrested Wickham and found a mobile phone on his person which had earlier been identified as the source of a number of 'flare' messages.

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Drug dealers use 'flare' text messages to advertise the latest batches of drugs they have for sale. The messages are sent to large numbers of customers in a given area.

Wickham was subsequently charged with two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs - crack cocaine and heroin. Today, July 11, he was jailed for five year and a half years at Chester Crown Court.

Detective Constable Tom Dale said: “I welcome the sentence handed to Wickham and I hope that his conviction sends out a warning to others.

“Illegal drugs have a hugely detrimental impact, and we are committed to doing all we can to remove those involved in the supply of such drugs from our communities.

“In Wickham’s case he made a full admission to the fact that that he was involved in the sale of illegal drugs and is now facing the consequences of his actions.

“While Wickham is now behind bars, our fight against illegal drugs and those who supply them continues.

“Intelligence supplied by members of the public is crucial to this fight and I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch.

“You will be listened to, and we will investigate the matter.”

Anyone with any information in relation to supply of illegal drugs in their community is urged to contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or online at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report.

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