A drug dealing duo involved in a complex conspiracy to supply cannabis, cocaine and heroin have been jailed for 24 years between them.

Kevin Stevenson and James Joyce were found guilty of conspiracy to supply the Class A and B drugs after a trial.

It comes five years after police arrested Stevenson, 44, after being found in possession of cocaine.

A search of an address on Osbourne Road in Hemlington found more cocaine and three kilos of cannabis bush. A further kilogram of cannabis bush was also found at another address in Middlesbrough that was also linked to Stevenson.

Joyce, 46, was arrested in November 2020 after telephone analysis showed he was also linked to the complex drugs conspiracy.

The Northern Echo: The pair appeared before Teesside Crown Court.The pair appeared before Teesside Crown Court.

Police gathered intelligence which suggested the duo were involved in an illicit drug operation involving Class A and B drugs.

Joyce denied all the charges – conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis – while Stevenson admitted the cocaine and cannabis charges but pleaded not guilty to the heroin charge at a trial at Teesside Crown Court last week.

On Tuesday (May 14) they appeared before the same court and were jailed for 24 years in total.

Stevenson, of Grange Farm, Coulby Newham, was thrown behind bars for 10 years and seven months while his criminal associate Joyce, of Jocelyn Way, Middlesbrough, was handed 13 years and six months imprisonment.

Two further men aged 25 and 50, who were charged alongside the duo, were found not guilty on all three charges.

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Detective Constable McKinlay, said: “This is a great result for us, with two dangerous drug conspirators behind bars. I would like to thank everyone who played their part in this police operation.

“These drugs are incredibly addictive and cause undeniable harm to our communities, with the trade of the drug directly funding Serious and Organised Crime and associated violence and exploitation.

“As a region, we have zero tolerance for drug-related crime and we will continue to work with partners under Operation Sentinel to bring offenders to justice.”