TWO Basingstoke residents accused of county lines drug offences have now pleaded guilty.

As previously reported, Adam Harman and Stacey Knock, both formerly of Normanton Road in Oakridge, were accused of being involved in the Monster county lines drug network that operated in Basingstoke.

Midway through their trial at Portsmouth Crown Court, they changed their pleas to guilty.

Harman had initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs before admitting the charges, whilst Knock had pleaded guilty during the trial to attempting to disguise, conceal, convert or transfer criminal property.

The duo, who were previously labelled by prosecutor Charles Gabb as "active members of Monster" for almost five months in 2019 are now due to be sentenced.

Mr Gabb previously said that both defendants “took crack cocaine,” with Harman said to have told police that he had “a habit of £100-150 per day,” and subsequently lead them to become involved with Monster.

He said that Monster began in 2017, and was operated from Luton.

“Why on Earth does somebody in Luton decide that Basingstoke is a good place to do business?” Mr Gabb asked the court, adding that further drugs lines were run by the same gang in Reading and Winchester.

“For some reason or other, Basingstoke has an appalling drugs problem,” he told the court, with “three drugs lines working simultaneously in Basingstoke by the name of Monster… Bestie and Nemo.”

Gabb said that in 2019, Harman and Knock were introduced to the operation by a neighbour, who was “involved in Monster up to her eyeballs.”

As part of Monster, the defendants are said to have rented vehicles for the gang on five separate occasions by using different car hire companies each time, with the vehicles being used on “an almost daily basis.”

Gabb said that Harman told police that he “was in debt” to the gang’s leader, and “got his debt reduced and free cocaine” for his actions.

The prosecutor said that Harman and Knock “played a very important part” of Monster. “Without them,” he said, “transport would have been very difficult.”