THE ex-girlfriend of a cocaine kingpin jailed for 21 years is on trial with two others in connection with a large-scale drug operation.

Brothers Richard and Patrick Gray were jailed in the summer of 2022 after being found guilty of supplying large quantities of cocaine to ‘downstream customers’ across Oxfordshire.

They were caught after police swooped in on the gang in May, raiding properties in Oxford, Witney, Banbury, and Milton Keynes, seizing 2.5kg of high-purity cocaine and around 110,000 in cash.

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Ringleader Richard Gray, then 33, was jailed for 21 years while his older brother, then 44, received 18 years.

Oxford Mail: Brothers Richard and Patrick GrayBrothers Richard and Patrick Gray (Image: TVP)

Now, Richard Gray’s former partner, Melissa Grant, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court charged with possession of criminal property, namely £44,315 in cash.

The 33-year-old is standing trial with Mark Hickford, 51, and Liam Field, 26, who are accused of being ‘downstream customers’ of the drug kingpins and have been charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Opening the case on Thursday (January 18), Crown prosecutor Lisa Goddard said: “We know this case centres around an organised criminal group and that group was headed up by Richard Gray and he was assisted by his brother, Patrick.

“The Gray brothers were responsible for sourcing kilos of cocaine from a number of suppliers who would transport the products into the UK.

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“It also involved other people like couriers and customers for example. Melissa Gray was the long-term partner of Richard Gray, at the time they lived together and they shared children.

“Mark Hickford and Liam Field, the two defendants in this trial, the prosecution says were downstream customers in Richard Gray’s operation.

“Melissa Gray did not take an active part in the drug dealing operation but the prosecution says she know full well what her long-term partner was u[p to in relation to the general drug dealing even if she did now know specifically.

“She certainly knew where the payments of money were coming from.”

The trial of the Gray brothers heard that the operation included sending couriers north to Preston and Bury to pick up two kilos of cocaine at a time.

The drugs were taken to a ‘stash house’ in Banbury where Sophie Plowman lived, Richard Gray’s second girlfriend.

She was jailed for five years for her involvement.

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Cutting agents, used to dilute the cocaine, were found at Lower Whitley Farm, near Farmoor Reservoir, where Patrick Gray worked for his father-in-law.

Hickman, of Hartford Road, in Edmonton, Field, of Swindon, and Grant, of Barley Court, Witney, all deny their involvement in the multi-million-pound conspiracy.

The trial continues.