Over £15,000 worth of cash was seized and 49 arrests made by officers from Kent Police’s County Line and Gang Team in March.
The team also executed 19 search warrants, made 32 drug seizures and had charges authorised against 33 individuals. In addition to this, a number of county line drug dealers appeared before crown court where they received a combined sentence of 56 years and 10 months’ imprisonment.
A warrant by the team resulted in two arrests and drugs being seized. On Monday, 22 March two warrants were executed at properties in Belvedere and Erith. Officers seized a number of mobile phones and wraps of cocaine and heroin.
Two men aged 25 and 41 were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs. They have been released under investigation.
In Ashford, a controlled stop by officers on the M20 resulted in charges being authorised against a man for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.
At around 7.15pm on Friday 26 March 2021, officers became aware of a vehicle that they suspected to be involved in supplying class A drugs. It was stopped on the slip road for junction 10, leading to the arrest of a man and a 52-year-old woman from Ashford.
The man aged 18, from Stockwell, London, has since been charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine, and possessing a knife in a public place.
He appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday 29 March and will appear before Canterbury Crown Court on 10 May.
No charges have been authorised against the woman and she has been released on bail, pending further enquiries, until Friday 23 April.
Two charged following Canterbury stop
A Canterbury stop check led to charges being authorised against a man and a woman. Their vehicle was stopped on Rheims Way, Canterbury on 12 February.
The pair both aged 24, of Lucey Way, London were both charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin and possession of criminal property.
They appeared before Canterbury Crown Court on Monday 15 March. The man admitted the charges against him and the woman entered a not guilty plea. The next hearing is scheduled for 1 June.
A number of county line drug dealers are beginning prison sentences as a result of investigation by the team.
Leon Wilson from Maidstone was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months after admitting being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin when he appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on 22 March 2021.
An investigation found that Wilson was using a phone line associated with the supply of class A drugs in Ramsgate between 1 August and 25 November 2020. It was noted that the dealer sent regular text messages to drug users who then replied with their order.
At 6am on Wednesday 25 November 2020, a search warrant was executed at Wilson’s home address. Inside, officers arrested Wilson who was in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine wrapped in clingfilm. They also seized a plastic tub containing heroin, two sets of digital scales, £525 in cash and two mobile phones.
Also beginning a custodial sentence is a man from Sittingbourne who was jailed for three years and nine months after admitting four drugs supply offences.
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A man aged 30, also from Sittingbourne appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on 9 March.
He supplied heroin and crack cocaine on behalf of a county line named ‘Trigger’ and was twice arrested by Kent Police officers in 2020. Despite being under investigation, he continued to offend and was arrested for a second time on 16 September, after officers carried out a warrant at his home.
A mobile phone was seized and the handset’s data revealed it was being used to coordinate the supply of drugs for a county line which was active between July and September. Numerous communications which discussed drug supply were sent during this time period.
Another successful conviction by the team resulted in a prison sentence for a drug dealer who sold crack cocaine and heroin for a county line in Folkestone.
Demetri John-Lewis, 29, of Woodchester Square, Paddington, west London was identified as operating the ‘CC’ line in the town during an operation with colleagues from the Metropolitan Police. He was arrested in March 2020 and found guilty of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday, 1 March 2021. He was jailed for four years.
Inspector Martin Williams of the County Line and Gang team said: ‘We are committed to dismantling the county line drug supply network in Kent.
‘There were a number of significant arrests throughout March with substantial drug and cash seizures being made. My officers will now set their sights on those attempting to fill the void left by these dealers in an effort to disrupt the supply of class A drugs in the county further.’