Latest enforcement action to tackle drug supply in the county
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A total of 28 people have been arrested as part of the latest enforcement action to tackle the supply of drugs through county lines.
Officers also seized around 20 mobile phones suspected to contain evidence of criminal networks running from London into Kent.
Between 4 and 18 September 2020 a series of search warrants were executed during an operation to clamp down even harder on those involved in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
The period incorporated a coordinated week of intensification (from 14-18 September) which involved the National Crime Agency and other police forces, including the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police.
Eight people have now been charged in connection with running separate county lines, including the following suspects:
On 12 September, officers searched a flat in Ethelbert Road, Margate where a phone suspected to contain evidence of the supply of Class A drugs was also recovered. Jesutomisin Ifeoluwa, aged 21, was charged with possession of criminal property, conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.
Simultaneous search warrants were executed on 15 September at addresses in Ramsgate and Broadstairs, suspected to be linked to a county line. This led to the seizure of 227 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine as well as £850 in cash. Mateo Bondzie, aged 22, of Poplar Road, Broadstairs, was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and with possessing criminal property (namely a proportion of the cash seized.)
A warrant was also executed at an address in Tonge Road, Sittingbourne, on 16 September where officers seized a number of phones. Christopher Tregunno, aged 30, was arrested and later charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
Early morning warrants were also carried out at a number of locations in London, with assistance from the Metropolitan Police.
On 8 September, designer clothing and shoes worth an estimated £8,000 was seized as well as £2,000 in cash after a man driving in the Tower Hamlets area of London was stopped and a linked address searched. Joseph Odoi, aged 19, of Dumont Road, Stoke Newington, London was arrested and charged with three counts relating to the supply of Class A drugs as well as with possessing criminal property (namely cash seized.)
At around 5.45am on 15 September 2020 police forced entry into a property in East Ham, London. Sharmache Jama, aged 28, of Melford Road, London was arrested nearby and later charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.
Cash and mobile phones were also recovered after a property in Olive Road, Cricklewood was searched on 16 September.Zakariya Hall, aged 28, was arrested and charged with six counts of being concerned in the supply of drugs.
Detective Superintendent Mike Worrall said: ‘We have dedicated teams committed to tackling county lines and protecting those from being exploited.
'Part of our focus is to increasingly target those who we suspect to be ‘line holders’, which is why gathering phone evidence continues to be so crucial.
'These can be people who aren’t always necessarily the dealers, but who may coordinate the distribution of drugs through the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults.
‘The success of our approach lies with strong relationships and collaboration between other police forces and our partners, and this has led to a steady reduction in the number of active county lines in Kent from 82 in July, down to the current number of 67.
'This also has a positive knock-on effect in reducing incidents of serious violence including the use of weapons. We are determined to keep this number falling and the message remains very clear that anyone intent on dealing drugs can expect a robust response. Expect to be arrested and put before the courts.’