DRUG runners who flooded Bournemouth and Shaftesbury with heroin and cocaine brought from Liverpool have been jailed.

The defendants - some of whom were part of infamous Merseyside gang The OCG, or Organised Criminal Group - recruited a teenager as a courier during their campaign to sell class A drugs to local dealers.

Drugs worth £22,000 were found at one courier's home address, while the boy, then just 17, was snared by police boarding a train with a kilogram of heroin in a backpack.

The defendants routinely changed tactics, including changing their phones, particularly when gang members were arrested.

Two of the group were also involved in 'cuckooing' a vulnerable Bournemouth drug addict by taking over her home.

Prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, Barry McElduff said many of the conspirators were originally from Liverpool.

The gang were involved in the transportation of a "significant quantity" of heroin and cocaine to Dorset, as well as Paignton and Totnes in Devon.

Once the drugs reached the towns, they were given to dealers.

The ringleader of the scheme was 30-year-old Darrell Daniels, it was said. Daniels' "trusted lieutenant" was Craig Williams, 29.

The two were the first to be sentenced.

Mr McElduff said Daniels was "the head of The OCG" and orchestrated delivery, transport and onwards supply of drugs.

"He had difficulties in delegating responsibility, and wanted to retain overall control," the prosecutor said.

However, Daniels was often away when "key events" took place. During some trips between the north west and the south west of England, he went to Spain, Aberdeen and Ireland.

Williams, who already has two previous convictions for serious drug offences, held "management meetings" over the phone with long-time friend Daniels during mornings and evenings to brief him on the day's activities.

He also often carried drugs between Liverpool and the south himself, it was heard.

Overall, more than five kilograms of drugs were transported over a series of at least 24 trips, prosecutors say.

Daniels, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison.

Williams, of Runcorn in Cheshire, was sentenced to 14 years as he had failed to admit the charge against him and was convicted after a trial.

He was also responsible for the recruitment of Dylan Caddick, who also lives in Runcorn and was sentenced to two years and two months' detention in a young offenders institution.

Couriers Matthew Scrimshaw, 27, and of Highlands Crescent in Kinson and Margaret Hamdy, 41 and of Runcorn were sentenced to four years and one month and four years and eight months in prison each.

Charles Doble, 37 and of Greenstone Road in Shaftesbury, and Kevin Malkin, 39 and of Denham Drive in Shaftesbury, will be sentenced for their part in the conspiracy on November 8.

It was heard that Malkin had refused to come to court because he is afraid of his co-defendants.

All defendants have now been convicted of conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of class A.