Man who controlled Ipswich drug line jailed for five years

County lines drug dealer Adam Ballo was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court

Adam Ballo was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk police

A 26-year-old man who controlled a drug dealing line into Ipswich from London has been jailed for five years and seven months.

Adama Ballo was identified through complex phone analysis by police as being the manager of the “Saviour” county line which operated between February and June this year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

 When police executed a warrant at Ballo’s home in London they found £3,000 cash, a bundle of crack cocaine and heroin, and a “burner phone” which had been used to arrange the supply of drugs to Ipswich based class A drug users.

Also found was a notepad containing instructions and things to remember and when Ballo was interviewed about it he said that the scrawls were fictitious “rap lyrics”.

He later admitted that they were notes for the purpose of supplying class A drugs.

Ballo, of Ripple Road, Barking admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

The court heard that Ballo was a “third striker” having been convicted three times for class A drug supply offences between 2011 and 2018 and was in the UK illegally.

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Joanne Eley, for Ballo, said he became involved in the drug enterprise because he was an “overstayer” and couldn’t work legitimately, claim benefits or study.

“This was the only way he could make money," said Miss Eley.

She said Ballo had been directed to hold phones used by the county line and had served an "operational and management" function in the chain.

"He did as instructed," added Ms Eley, who said Ballo accepted he also sold drugs to friends on the side to make extra money.

After the hearing Investigating Officer, DC Jared Fortune, said: “Time after time when it comes to sentencing after a guilty plea, drug dealers like Mr Ballo indicate to the court that they had no other choice than to supply crack and heroin. 

“However, there are many other individuals who experience similarly adverse circumstances yet make lawful and morally good decisions by seeking support through the proper channels – they don’t end up running a county line. 

"Crack and heroin supply gives rise to many other offences committed by vulnerable drug users who seek to score so I am glad that the very inappropriately named Saviour line can no longer be the catalyst of such."