Drugs gang jailed after police uncover operation supplying £250,000 of crack and heroin to Ipswich users
PUBLISHED: 13:28 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:41 23 January 2018
Members of a drugs gang which dealt more than £250,000 worth of crack and heroin in Ipswich by exploiting vulnerable addicts have been jailed for a total of 25 years.
The gang used a “county lines” operation in which Ipswich addicts would be used as “runners”, receiving Class A drugs from a London-based kingpin and his associate to sell to other users in the town.
Gang leaders would make weekly trips between the capital and Suffolk, to restock the runners, who would be paid in drugs to feed their habit, while collecting the cash from their deals.
Following a three-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court, members of the gang were sentenced for their part in the operation on Monday.
Jerome Daley, 30, of Tomswood Hill, Ilford, had been described as the gang’s kingpin, and was jailed for 11 years and six months, after being convicted of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs between May 2016 and May 2017.
Kristian Pullen, 39, of Willoughby Road, Ipswich, was convicted to the same charges and sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and placed on a curfew for four months.
Paul Butters, 33, of Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, had pleaded guilty to the same charges on July 27, and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment suspended for two years, plus 150 hours of unpaid work.
Kyron Nestor-Thelwell, 23 of Durrington Road, Hackney and Andy Mokonzele, 32, of Cambridge Crescent, High Wycombe, pleaded guilty to the same charges at an earlier hearing.
Thelwell was jailed for six years, plus an extra 10 months for activating a previous suspended sentence. Mokonzele was jailed for six years and eight months.
Officers from the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command worked with Suffolk Constabulary to uncover how Daley’s drugs network was used to supply heroin and crack cocaine to Ipswich users.
Detectives discovered Daley ran a phone line to text drug users in Ipswich telling them when he had drugs for sale. Users would reply to place “orders” and Daley would contact his drug runners including Butters, Mokonzele and Pullen to give them details of the delivery.
Thelwell, a close associate of Daley, would between London and Ipswich several times a week to restock the runners and collect their money.
This “county line” conspiracy sees local drug addicts exploited to run and deliver drugs to feed their own habit.
During the year-long investigation around 150 wraps of cocaine and heroin worth an estimated £1,600 was seized together with £2,600 in cash.
It is thought the gang travelled to Ipswich at least 170 times and made a total of £273,000 in a year.
Supt Kerry Cutler from Suffolk police said: “Suffolk Constabulary continues to work with the Metropolitan Police to disrupt and hold to account individuals involved in the organisation and supply of drugs. The convictions show how police forces working together can make a difference.”
Det Insp Glenn Butler from the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command, said: “This was an extensive proactive operation between the Met and our colleagues at Suffolk police which has led to the successful prosecution of six members of this network.
“I hope this result sends a clear message that we will continue to pursue gangs in this way, wherever in the UK they are operating. The harm that drugs cause communities across the UK will not be tolerated.”
Det Supt Tim Champion of the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command, added: “County lines is a national challenge for police forces and our partner agencies. We are working hard with partners throughout the country to disrupt supply networks and safeguard vulnerable people affected by them. The impact drug supply has on communities is immense and our work to disrupt this criminality continues apace, using all the legislation available to us.”
Dexter Lydon, 20, of Ipswich was acquitted of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
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