Over forty people were arrested by officers from Kent Police’s County Lines and Gangs Team in November.
In total 41 suspected drug dealers were arrested with 49 charges being authorised during the month. In addition to the arrests the team executed 22 warrants, seized over £160,000 in cash and saw prison sentences totalling 34 years and two months being imposed by the courts for cases they brought to trial.
Amongst those charged was a suspected dealer who was arrested after the team carried out a search warrant in Hythe on 8 November where class A drugs and a quantity of cash were seized.
A man from Hythe, was charged the following day with being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine. He was also charged with possessing cocaine and heroin and possessing criminal property.
The 19-year-old appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 10 November.
Included in those beginning a prison sentence is Omar Minsende, a Maidstone dealer who hid Class A drugs under crockery in a kitchen sink.
During January 2021, investigators identified that a specific mobile phone was being used to supply heroin and cocaine to the town’s drug users. Further enquiries led officers to confirm Minsende held the phone and was dealing from his flat in Queen Anne Road.
On 9 February 2021, patrols attended the premises where Minsende was arrested. Officers completed a search at the address and seized a quantity of herbal cannabis, a mobile phone and £2,500 in cash.
A further search recovered eight grams of crack cocaine, fifteen grams of heroin and some electronic scales that had been hidden in a sink under some crockery.
When analysed, the seized cannabis was found to have an estimated street value of approximately £1,500 and the cocaine and heroin was valued at £2,300. The seized phone was also identified as the one used to offer drugs for sale.
Minsende was later charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine, being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
He pleaded guilty to the latter but not guilty to the heroin and crack cocaine indictments and, at Maidstone Crown Court was convicted following a trial. On Thursday 4 November, 30-year-old Minsende was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
A woman aged 28, who was also arrested at the Queen Anne Road address on 9 February 2021, was later charged with being concerned in the supply of cannabis. She pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment on Monday 1 November.
Detective Superintendent Shaun White said: ‘The supply and misuse of drugs in any area can have a profound and far reaching effect on communities. As well as the misery and distress caused by county lines, residents often also end up being plagued with anti-social behaviour, caused by users and dealers entering and leaving properties on a regular basis. The associated fear and anxiety which is caused is simply never acceptable, which is another reason why there will be no let-up in our determination to tackle and dismantle this destructive trade.
‘The support we receive from members of the public in helping detect and deter offenders remains vital. By continuing to work together we really are ensuring the message gets through to criminals that operating in Kent simply won’t be tolerated.’