Whitley Bay cocaine dealer who peddled drug to make a 'quick buck' jailed after encrypted chats found

Wesley Burgo, jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine
Wesley Burgo, jailed for conspiracy to supply cocaine -Credit:Northumbria Police

A cocaine dealer who peddled large amounts of the drug to make a "quick buck" has been jailed.

The moniker "Hooper" was attributed to Wesley Burgo after French police infiltrated the EncroChat platform, on which criminals though they could conduct their illegal business with impunity.

Messages between him and others showed he was involved in deals involving large amounts of cocaine, often around 250g at a time. Significant amounts of cash had also entered his accounts which weren't consistent with his declared income, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

The total volume of cocaine which Burgo was responsible for was 2.71 kilos, said to be worth around £100,000. The court heard Burgo made frequent trips between the North East and North West and was driving a BMW X5.

Burgo, 29, of Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, who has one previous conviction for an assault in 2014, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for seven years and three months.

Judge Stephen Earl said drugs are a "scourge in our society" and that sentences which punish offenders and deter others from becoming involved in such offences are required.

Steven Reed, defending, said Burgo has two young daughters and has made positive steps since being remanded in custody since November 2021. Mr Reed said: "This is his first experience of custody and it has been served away from his home in Newcastle.

"He has served his period on remand during a period of time where prison conditions are made extremely difficult for prisoners who are still dealing with the remnants of Covid and overcrowding issues as well.

"He has enhanched status and has spent his time overcoming his addiction to drugs, which was undoubtedly a driver in his offending. He has also returned to his faith."

He added: "He accepts his motivation was financial, essentially he was trying to make a quick buck.

"In prison he has seen at first hand the effect of drug misuse on other defendants. He has seen drug supply is not victimless and it's not a path to which he will return. He is genuinely remorseful for what he has done."