Men sentenced over 'Neno' drugs line in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 09:24 09 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:24 09 November 2019
A "naive" Ipswich man who became involved in a drug dealing conspiracy in the town has been locked up for three years.
Police who raided Brandon Alford's home in St John's Road in December last year discovered it had been used as a base for supplying heroin and cocaine, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
A tub containing 41 wraps of crack cocaine and ten of heroin with a street value of more than £2,000 was found at the premises and when his mobile phone was examined it was found to have had 600 contacts with the central 'Neno' drug dealing phone, said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.
Alford, 21, of St John's Road, Ipswich, admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and was sentenced to three years detention.
Also before the court was D'arro O'Connor, 21, of Parnell Road, Ipswich, who had denied conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin but was convicted after a trial.
He was given two years detention suspended for two years, 30 days rehabilitation, 240 hours unpaid work and was banned from entering Ipswich for 12 months.
Sentencing the men Judge Emma Peters said: "It is a very real tragedy that young men like you get involved in conspiracies to supply class A drugs."
During O'Connor's trial two 'rap' videos were played to the jury and in one of them he appeared alongside men wearing masks and holding wads of cash.
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During the footage references were made to 'The 3' and Pc Conor Ward told the court that he interpreted 'The 3' to be a reference to the IP3 Nacton postcode .
"The videos are all about drug dealing and cash to be made from drug dealing and issues with other gangs," said Pc Ward.
The court heard that O'Connor helped reopen a successful drugs business in Ipswich after it was closed down by police.
A mobile phone and SIM card used by the 'Neno' drug line was seized by police when they arrested the previous 'managing director' of the business in June last year.
Three days later O'Connor and four other men went into the Vodaphone shop in Tavern Street, Ipswich and asked for a replacement SIM card for the phone.
"It was the main number for the Neno drug dealing business. It was crucial to the success of the entire business," said Andrew Jackson, prosecuting.
Adam Norris, for Alford, said his client was naive and isolated.
He said Alford had not been part of a gang and had been taken advantage of by others.
Marc Brown, for O'Connor, said his client had no previous convictions and had a limited involvement in the conspiracy.