Category: Drugs & Gangs

County Lines: Norfolk tops table of London drug dealers

The 'Chase' line was jailed this week for dealing linked to 'county lines' in Great Yarmouth (l-r) Blaire Carpenter-Angol, Thimotiw Adetona, Nathan Hamilton and Nicholas Lawrence. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

The ‘Chase’ line was jailed this week for dealing linked to ‘county lines’ in Great Yarmouth (l-r) Blaire Carpenter-Angol, Thimotiw Adetona, Nathan Hamilton and Nicholas Lawrence. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

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More drug dealers from London have been identified in Norfolk than any other county in the country.

Norwich, meanwhile, tops the table of cities and towns for the number of Londoners linked to ‘county lines’ drug dealing.

The figures, released by the Mayor of London on Thursday[2], show that more than 4,000 people have been recruited by drug gangs in the capital to run networks spread across 41 counties in the UK.

The criminal networks, known as county lines, target children and vulnerable adults to courier drugs from cities.

Almost half of those identified were aged between 15 and 19 (46pc) and 90pc were male.

Coastal areas and county towns near London have the highest number of links back to gangs in London, the report said, but Norfolk was the exception to that.

Between January 2018 and April 2019, 416 people from London were linked to county lines in Norfolk, including 167 in Norwich and 34 in Great Yarmouth.

Suffolk was the sixth highest county in the table with 238 people.

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The figures include people arrested for dealing and where intelligence has linked them to county lines.

A Norfolk police spokesman said the figures showed the force was responding to the threat of London drug gangs, but denied Norfolk was a target.

On Tuesday the latest county lines gang was jailed.

The ‘Chase’ line moved in to Great Yarmouth to fill a gap in the market earlier this year.

Shaun Ellis, 26, ran the line, which is estimated to have made more than £124,000 over a four-month period.

While he was serving in Wayland Prison, he got a second man, Nathan Hamilton to run the business for him.

Investigations revealed two boys aged 15 and 16 had been brought to Norfolk to sell drugs, driven by Hamilton, 29.

Hamilton was jailed for ten years and nine months, while Ellis was jailed for 11 years and eight months,

Rebecca White, from social enterprise Your Own Place which helps vulnerable youngsters, said a more holistic approach was needed to deter young people from drug gangs.

“We have to have the right services in place,” she said. “Keeping them safe requires building relationships.”

Related articles

References

  1. ^ Share (www.edp24.co.uk)
  2. ^ Mayor of London on Thursday (www.london.gov.uk)

County lines: where the drugs go, case by case

From crack cocaine to heroin and from Cornwall to Cumbria, here are some of the past year’s most high-profile cases

Mon 16 Sep 2019 09.00 BST

Last modified on Mon 16 Sep 2019 10.09 BST

London to Bognor Regis, Berkshire, Hampshire, Medway and Surrey

Date

26 July 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

16

Show details

Sixteen people connected to a south London gang called the 67 were sentenced to a total of 61 years for county lines drug offences. Police sifted through hundreds of thousands of pages of call data to identify the culprits.

Fifteen men and one woman were convicted after a joint investigation by the Metropolitan and Kent police forces into five county lines supplying drugs in Berkshire, Hampshire, Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex.

Those found guilty included line holders, who managed them from London and directed younger members of the gang to “cuckoo” addresses, often belonging to local drug users, in the south-east where they would sell drugs.

London to Shrewsbury

Date

8 May 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

One

Show details

A drug dealer cuckooed the house of an occupant with a mental illness in Shrewsbury. The woman was arrested in August 2018 after police visited the property unannounced and found £800 worth of crack cocaine and heroin.

Jennifer Chigbo pleaded guilty at Shrewsbury magistrates court in February 2019 after being charged with possession with intent to supply drugs. She also received a four-month sentence for being in possession of a knife.

London to Wiltshire

Date

14 June 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine, heroin, MDMA

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

Six

Show details

A county lines gang was sentenced to a total of more than 56 years in prison for shipping class A drugs from London to Wiltshire. The gang of six managed a large-scale crack cocaine and heroin operation from London to Swindon and Marlborough between April and September 2018.

Their “Frank” line was contacted by more than 800 people and the phone was found at the home of the gang’s leader, Linford Goode, along with £20,000 cash and a Rolex watch worth £21,000. Goode and another gang leader, Sara Kokot, used some of the proceeds to travel from London to Swindon in luxury cars. Evidence of drug preparation, cocaine powder and MDMA were found at the homes of other gang members.

Scott Cadder, who worked on the ground in Swindon with Tiffany Smart, got into dealing to fund his own drug habit, as did Shaun Smith, who sold drugs to addicts in Marlborough with Dean Black.

London to South Wales

Date

14 August 2019 (reported)

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Two 17 year olds

Convictions

Three

Show details

Two 17-year-old girls from London were found at a property in south Wales that was used as a county lines hub. One girl said she had been promised by someone called Rogue that she would earn £500 a day supplying crack cocaine and heroin.

Police discovered wholesale quantities of class A drugs – 90 wraps of crack cocaine and 24 wraps of heroin – along with £1,260 in cash and a BB airgun. The phone, the Rogue line used to facilitate drug deals, was also seized.

The gang’s leader, Kane Griffiths-Jeffries, and two of his dealers, Adam Harries and Ian Wilkins, were sentenced to 25 years in prison.

London to Portsmouth

Date

17 April 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Three girls and three boys (14-19)

Convictions

Three

Show details

The three men preyed on vulnerable adults and young people, and used their victims to bring drugs from London to Portsmouth and carry money back the other way.

In one incident, the eldest victim was stripped naked and a gun was forced into his mouth. He was threatened with death if he did not comply. When the victims arrived in Portsmouth they would be held in drug users’ homes and not allowed to leave until texts ordering drugs came in. They would then be sent to sell or drop off the drugs. Texts would be sent to users when heroin or crack became available and would typically result in 200-300 calls per day.

The victims would sometimes pick up as much as £2,000 a day, which they would deposit with the convicted men on their return to London.

London to Swansea

Date

24 January 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

15 year old boy

Convictions

Two

Show details

For the first time in Wales, a 20-year-old man was convicted under the Modern Slavery Act for facilitating the travel of a child with a view to exploit. Jerome Wallis, 25, who was part of a sophisticated county lines operation, also admitted to conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine while working with an accomplice, Savion Browne.

A 15-year-old boy went to Swansea Central police station to report he was missing from London and unable to get home. He said he had initially been contacted on Snapchat by Wallis, who then forced him to sell drugs. After meeting Wallis near Paddington station in west London, the boy was driven to Swansea, moved to various addresses and sent on drug deals. He was threatened with violence if he did not complete the deals and told he would have to remain in the area.

When Wallis returned to London for more drugs, the boy managed to escape from the house when his “minder” left briefly. Police raided the property and found evidence of drug production, mobile phones, thousands of pounds in cash and £4,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine.

London to Norwich

Date

10 July 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Two boys aged 15 and 16

Convictions

Three awaiting sentence

Show details

Three men were convicted of county lines drug offences in Norwich, with one also convicted under modern slavery laws. Nathan Hamilton, 29, and Blaire Carpenter-Angol, 27, are from London, and Shaun Ellis, 26, is of no fixed abode.

Hamilton drove two boys, aged 15 and 16, to and from the capital and Great Yarmouth to deal class A drugs in September and October 2018. Police seized mobile phones and almost 600 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin.

London to Norwich

Date

5 February 2019

Drugs mentioned

Cocaine and heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Two

Show details

Two men were convicted in Norfolk after an undercover police investigation.

Kylann Grannum and Shaun Byers, who was the main runner of the county lines supply, were convicted of bringing drugs from London to sell to users in Norwich.

London to home counties

Date

9 September 2019

Drugs mentioned

Heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Six awaiting sentence

Show details

Afsa Allen, a grime artist, organised at least four county lines routes from east London to the home counties. He used lower-level gang members to facilitate supply chains from Hackney. All six gang members were convicted under Operation Halmist, a project run by the Met’s specialist crime north unit to disrupt organised class A drug distribution routes.

About £25,000 in cash and approximately half a kilo of heroin were seized as well as phones, laptops, vehicles and designer footwear.

Birmingham to Warwick and Leamington

Date

11 July 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Seven

Show details

Meshach Duncan recruited a team to transport drugs into Warwickshire. Rebecca Mannix, Kyle Crossley and Debra Walsh helped distribute the drugs in the county and a network of dealers supplied the drugs on the streets.

Between February 2015 and November 2017, detectives identified 429 class A deliveries made by the gang into Warwickshire with an estimated street value of more than £400,000.

Birmingham to Telford

Date

5 August 2019

Drugs mentioned

Heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

One

Show details

Mohammed Sohil was carrying more than 100 wraps of heroin when he was stopped by police on the M54 in Telford. Officers also found three mobile phones in his car. Police believe he had driven to the town to deal drugs as part of a county lines network.

Black Country to Hereford

Date

27 June 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Seven

Show details

Artaf Hussain, a convicted murderer, was convicted of leading a county ines operation that supplied up to £300,000 of class A drugs. He is also serving a life sentence for murder.

Sixteen phones were used to coordinate deliveries by his couriers in Hereford, six of whom were also convicted on 27 June 2019.

Birmingham to Hereford

Date

17 April 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Four

Show details

Two brothers ran a £300,000 drug network supplying crack cocaine and heroin to Hereford in what police called the most significant county lines operation ever identified in the city.

Officers suspected that more than 3.5kg of heroin and crack cocaine had been sold before the operation was discovered and that the brothers had been making about £1,500 a day.

Merseyside to Shropshire

Date

3 June 2019

Drugs mentioned

Cocaine and heroin

Victims

None stated

Convictions

Two

Show details

Two drug dealers from Shrewsbury, who were part of a county line network, were sentenced after pleading guilty to drug offences.

When police stopped their car they found drugs with a street value of about £500, a stolen mountain bike the pair had accepted as payment for drugs, and £900 in cash. Mobile phones used to arrange deals were also seized.

Liverpool to Cumbria

Date

5 June 2019

Drugs mentioned

Cocaine and heroin

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

15 (one awaiting sentence)

Show details

Fifteen people were jailed for involvement in an operation that targeted addicts in Cumbria. The main players were based in the Liverpool area and assisted by local residents. Addicts were bombarded with “text bombs” offering the drugs for sale.

Residents played various roles including directly supplying drugs on behalf of the gang, or storing them and allowing their properties, some occupied by children, to be used as safe houses. Some helped in other ways, such as handing over crucial contacts lists for addicts or buying mobile phone top-ups.

The operation also involved cuckooing, meaning people from outside the county came to Carlisle to set up temporary “nests” from which they established a drug-dealing network.

Liverpool to Congleton

Date

25 July 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

One

Show details

Matthew Hughes attacked a 51-year-old man who photographed him as he supplied drugs to a woman. Despite the damage to the phone, the images were retrieved and Hughes was identified as a street dealer who worked for an organised county lines team in Liverpool that supplied heroin and crack cocaine.

Liverpool to Cornwall

Date

30 May 2019

Drugs mentioned

Cocaine and heroin

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

Three

Show details

Three people in a county lines operation brought drugs from Liverpool to be packaged and sold in Cornwall.

Bootle to Shrewsbury

Date

17 May 2019

Drugs mentioned

Class A drugs

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

Two

Show details

Two women from Shropshire were sentenced after they cuckooed a house in Shrewsbury and forced the vulnerable resident to sell drugs as part of a county line operation.

Peterborough to Rugby

Date

22 August 2019

Drugs mentioned

Crack cocaine and heroin

Victims

Not stated

Convictions

Three

Show details

Three Portuguese men from Peterborough were jailed for county lines offences. Ruben Alexandre Viegas Simao, 30, was stopped while driving and police found cash and mobile phones. The other two defendants, Mario Alberto Periera, 26 and Alex Migel Goncalves Cid, 21, were found at a hotel in Rugby.

Police discovered crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of £16,010 hidden in the toilet bin and £3,000 in cash.

References

  1. ^ Behind the lines (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ County lines (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Surge in vulnerable children linked to drug gangs (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ Airbnb and a free lunch: how drug gangs lure teenagers (www.theguardian.com)