Prison sentences totalling 32 years and four months were handed out to county line drug dealers who appeared before the courts in January 2022.
In addition to the sentences, the County Lines and Gangs Team arrested 25 people, executed 16 warrants and seized £12,282 in cash.
Among those sentenced are two men arrested by the team following an investigation into a county line in west Kent.
In 2021, officers identified that a criminal gang from south east London was responsible for dealing crack cocaine and heroin to users, using dedicated mobile phones known as the ‘Aaron line’.
The drugs were advertised for sale on a daily basis via bulk texts, to which purchasers responded with an order specifying what they were seeking to buy.
Further investigations proved Syrus Ramsey and Connor McMaster were the main members of the gang and regularly drove to Kent in Ramsey’s car to supply the drugs.
On 8 October 2021, Ramsey was stopped in his vehicle on the A21 near Bromley in a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police. When he was searched, officers located 34 deals of crack cocaine, 26 deals of heroin and a mobile phone.
He was arrested and a search of his home address in Bromley, Greater London led to the seizure of £850 in cash and 12 further deals of crack cocaine and heroin.
On the same day, McMaster was arrested at his home address in Chatham. He admitted throwing a mobile phone into a neighbouring garden when he saw patrols arriving. This was recovered and identified as one of those used to supply drugs.
Both men were charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine between 6 April and 8 October 2021.
They pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Friday 21 January 2022, Ramsey, aged 27, was jailed for three years and six months. This included six months for breaching a suspended sentence. McMaster, also aged 27, received a total of three years and four months’ imprisonment.
Also jailed was a drug dealer who took advantage of a vulnerable man so he could sell drugs from the man’s flat.
Batare Evwierhoma was sentenced to seven years in jail after admitting possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and acquiring criminal property. He was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 20 January 2022.
The 29-year-old from Lewisham, was arrested after he was seen leaving a flat in Strood, on 26 August 2021.
Evwierhoma was followed into Vicarage Road when he was stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act. He resisted arrest and attempted to flee the scene however he was promptly detained.
Crack cocaine, heroin and cash seized
He was found holding a small parcel of crack cocaine and heroin. He was subsequently searched and found to be in possession of a large quantity of cash.
Inside a pocket, officers also found a bottle of deodorant which had been modified to contain drugs.
These were wrapped in a roll and later found to contain 100 wraps of street deals and a further 24g of larger amounts of class A. The drugs were field tested and confirmed to be crack cocaine and heroin.
He was arrested by officers and the flat was then searched. Inside police found clothing belonging to Evwierhoma, as well as further drugs and money. They also found scales, a passport and ID belonging to him. He was charged with the drug offences the following day.
Detective Superintendent Shaun White from Kent Police said: ‘The team continues to relentlessly pursue those intent on running county lines in Kent.
‘We have seen significant sentences imposed by the court on cases brought forward by the team, who have been able to prove these individuals’ involvement in the drug supply network in the county.
‘These are brazen criminals who target vulnerable people in order to profit from selling illegal drugs. We will continue to use all available resources to protect the vulnerable from exploitation and take these callous dealers off our streets.’