DRUG conspirators who either trafficked thousands of pounds of cocaine or who grew cannabis for sale have been convicted of the plots by a jury.

All but one drug conspirator was convicted of involvement in one of the linked plots to supply drugs, including one based at a cannabis farm in Leigh near Worcester.

Other cannabis farms were found above Forty Fathoms Aquatics in Kidderminster and Queen Elizabeth Road in the town.

Only Vander Browning was cleared of the cocaine conspiracy after the jury unanimously convicted her co-defendants after four hours and 54 minutes spent deliberating following the trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The defendants convicted are Karl Browning, 42, of Hurcott Road, Kidderminster; Sinead Lavelle, 33, of Saxon Way, Droitwich; Darren Pegler, 40, of Coronation Road, Kidderminster; Timothy Valentine, 42, of Beacon Hill, Bridgnorth.

Gareth Pegler, the partner of Lavelle, brother of Vander Browning and Darren Pegler and brother-in-law of Karl Browning, had already admitted being involved in the cocaine and cannabis conspiracies and will be brought to court to be sentenced alongside others at a date which has yet to be fixed in the New Year.

Other defendants who have already admitted the cocaine conspiracy include Mighele Massey, Michael Carey and Louisa Ann Cooper and they too are expected to be brought to court for a sentencing exercise expected to take place over two days.

Karl Browning and Sinead Lavelle were convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine) between January 1, 2018 and June 1 last year.

Tim Valentine was convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis and conspiracy to supply cannabis between January 1, 2018 and June 1 last year. Darren Pegler was convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis between August 1, 2018 and November 1, 2020.

He compared himself in one text to Gareth Pegler to 'Jack and the Beanstalk' but later claimed his texts were references to corals and other aquatic supplies at his shop at Forty Fathoms in Kidderminster. He told a jury that plants 'at chest height' referred to plants in fish tanks.

In one text he said 'the jungle is massive LOL' but again said that was a humorous reference to corals at his shop and that the 'tent' referred to in one message should have read 'tank' but that it had been changed by predictive text.

Tim Harrington, prosecuting, had previously told the jury that Gareth Pegler 'had started to supply cocaine on a commercial scale', sending significant amounts of the class A drug to Ilfracombe in Devon after buying it from a supplier's home in Rubery.

In his opening he said: "Gareth Pegler didn't realise he was being watched by police and they had him under surveillance in effect" he said,

During the course of the conspiracy, Gareth Pegler's phone was tracked moving to Devon 26 times, 'most of the time at night' and most of the visits 'very brief'.

"They weren't trips to a popular holiday destination. They were shortlived trips to deliver cocaine and collect money" said Mr Harrington.

He said Lavelle went with Gareth Pegler on at least two occasions and they were 'not for some legitimate excuse, not for going to the seaside or going on holiday'.

"These were drug runners" he said. The prosecution case is that Lavelle dropped off money for drugs and was implicated in the plot, including driving her partner Gareth Pegler to Devon after he was banned from driving.

He said her visits to Devon 'were obviously for her to assist Mr Pegler with his cocaine empire'.

Mr Harrington said Pegler on one occasion went to an alleged co-conspirator's house in Rubery to purchase and pick up 3kg of cocaine and was observed by police leaving the house with 'a package about the size of a shoebox'.

One message from Karl Browning to Gareth Pegler read 'I don't want to carry longer than I have to'.

The home of Michael Carey, described as Gareth Pegler's 'man in Devon', was raided by police on November 7, 2020 when £19,000 in cash was seized. Karl Browning was later to claim he thought he was taking car parts to Devon.

Mr Harrington said to the jury: "Why would you deliver car parts in the middle of the night to Devon to a man who had been dealing in drugs? Why would you think car parts would be worth nearly £19,000?"