Two drug dealers who ran a county line network between south London, Folkestone and Tunbridge Wells have been jailed for a total of 15 years.
Dequan Brown and Ricardo Cain were arrested following an investigation by Kent Police’s County Lines and Gangs Team into the ‘Mitch and Romeo’ line in 2020.
Brown was detained at a property in Catford, where officers found weapons and a large amount of heroin, crack cocaine and cash.
Officers carry out a warrant in Catford, south London and detain Dequan Brown.
Cain was later tracked down to a hotel in Folkestone, where he had been staying while dealing drugs in the area.
Brown, 24, of Catford Hill, south London, was found guilty of offences including being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and possessing a firearm and was jailed for 12 years at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 1 April 2022.
Cain, 23, of no fixed address, admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and was jailed for three years at the same hearing.
The investigation was based on messages sent to drug users from Friday 30 October 2020 onwards, offering heroin and crack cocaine and signed off ‘Romeo’, ‘Mitch’ or ‘Romeo and Mitch’.
Enquiries over the following months linked the phones used to send the messages to the Catford area, where a warrant was carried out on Thursday 28 January 2021.
Brown was arrested at the flat and officers seized around £26,000 worth of uncut crack cocaine and heroin, £10,000 in cash, a machete, a lock knife, body armour and a converted live starter pistol and ammunition.
While he was in custody, analysis of his phone identified regular communication with a number in Folkestone. This led to officers attending a hotel in The Leas, where Cain was arrested in possession of £1,000-worth of crack cocaine and heroin and £2,000 in cash.
Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Talboys, of the County Lines and Gangs Team, said: ‘Kent Police knows all too well the knock-on offending that goes hand in hand with county line drug dealing and we will disrupt and shut down these networks at every opportunity.
‘The weapons found at the property we raided show the serious criminality we are dealing with. Weapons of this kind can only have been held to intimidate rivals and customers and could easily have led to people being seriously wounded or killed.
‘I am pleased the money, drugs and weapons we have seized are no longer in circulation and these two men are now behind bars.’