An East Peckham drug dealer has been jailed after he sent more than 60 bulk text messages a day encouraging users to buy cocaine.
Billy Smith was imprisoned for three years after police dismantled his supply chain by analysing vast quantities of mobile phone data.
Between 6 May and 23 June 2021, officers investigated suspicious activity linked to an unregistered pay as you go SIM. Marketing texts were sent from the number on a daily basis, advertising cocaine and cannabis.
Police also analysed replies from prospective customers concerning amounts, prices, and meeting points to exchange money and the drugs.
Evidence from data
Smith was identified as the suspect and on 23 June a search warrant was executed at his home in East Peckham.
The 39-year-old was arrested; however, the phone being used to make deals was not found during searches.
Despite this, officers were able to provide further evidence linking the line to Smith.
A number of the messages referred to ‘Bill’ and locations to meet sometimes included the letters EP, referring to East Peckham.
The investigation by the Tonbridge Community Policing Team also illustrated that Smith’s personal phone was often in the same location as where the deal phone appeared to be activating.
Smith was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and with being concerned in the supply of cannabis. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 20 December.
Leading the investigation was PC Molly Irwin, who said: ‘Smith is a repeat offender, who despite previous convictions and prison sentences appears to have no intention of changing his ways.
‘He was arrested as a result of a diligent and meticulous investigation into a phone line, which proved beyond any doubt that he was operating a criminal network covering areas across west Kent.
‘We been able to successfully dismantle what was an extensive drugs supply chain and ultimately this has prevented a significant number of drugs from being distributed onto the streets.’