County lines 'foot soldier' caught with class A drugs avoids jail

Man to stand trial at Ipswich Crown Court for assaulting a kebab delivery driver Picture: SARAH LUC

Eric Kenefa was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A teenage "foot soldier" arrested in Ipswich for his part in a county lines drug-dealing operation has avoided prison. 

Police executed a warrant at a property in Little Gipping Street, Ipswich, on January 31, 2020, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Officers found Eric Kenefa, 19, in the living room of the property, Ed Renvoize, prosecuting, told the court. 

The Little Gipping address was raided by police following the earlier arrest of someone else living at the property, Mr Renvoize said. 

Three large class A drug wraps were discovered in a stack of towels by officers. Kenefa's DNA was found on a large plastic bag containing a number of wraps. 

In total, more than 200 wraps containing heroin and crack cocaine were seized by police, with a street value of £1,890. 

A white iPhone was also seized. Messages consistent with class A drug-dealing were discovered following analysis, Mr Renvoize said. 

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Kenefa was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre and £270 in cash was found in a trouser pocket. 

He was interviewed by police on February 1, but made no comment. 

Prosecutors considered Kenefa a "foot soldier" in the county lines operation, carrying out the "grunt work", Mr Renvoize said. 

The court heard that Kenefa, of Hereford Walk, Basildon, was 17 at the time of his arrest and had six previous convictions for nine offences. 

He previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine. 

Simon Connolly, mitigating, said Kenefa was homeless at the time of the offences and was "being taken advantage of". 

Mr Connolly added that Kenefa had not been involved in any drug-dealing since he was caught. 

Sentencing Kenefa on Wednesday, Recorder Richard Atchley handed Kenefa six months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. 

Kenefa was also made subject to a supervision order, in which he will be monitored for 12 months. 

Recorder Atchley also ordered the destruction of the drugs, confiscation of the iPhone and forfeiture of the £270 in cash.