Two dealers from Dartford have been sentenced to a total of nine years after being arrested with more than 1,000 wraps of class A drugs worth nearly £24,000.
Kent Police’s County Line and Gangs Team identified bulk messages were being sent to drug users in the town using a specific phone number.
Investigators identified Tevin Mendez controlled the phone and had been dealing class A drugs in Dartford for nearly 12 months. He worked closely with another man, later known to be Keiron Wheatley.
On 27 July 2021, plain-clothed officers arrested Wheatley at a property in Orchard Street. Mendez attempted to flee the address via a third storey window and was also detained.
A search led to the seizure of three mobile phones, a quantity of heroin and crack cocaine, and £3,580 cash. More drugs were located inside a sock that Mendez had thrown from the window during his attempt to evade capture. In total, over 200 grams of crack cocaine and heroin were seized with an estimated street value of £23,870.
On 28 July, Wheatley, of New Church Road, Camberwell, and Mendez, of Orchard Street, Dartford, were charged with possession with the intent to supply heroin, possession with the intent to supply crack cocaine, and possession of criminal property (namely the seized cash).
Mendez was further charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.
The two men pleaded guilty to both charges of possession with intent to supply with Wheatley also pleading guilty to possession of criminal property at Woolwich Crown Court.
On Thursday 27 July 2023 the pair appeared before the same court where Wheatley, aged 31, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and a £190 fine, while Mendez, aged 30, received six years' imprisonment and a £170 fine.
The sentence for Mendez included four years' concurrent imprisonment for two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possession of criminal property in Bournemouth in March 2019.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Mark Donovan, said:
‘Mendez and Wheatley supplied large quantities of Class A drugs in Dartford and further afield with no concern of the consequences, beyond lining their own pockets by illegal means. Collaborative work with other forces demonstrated that Mendez’s criminal network reached as far as Dorset where he had been supplying drugs in the Bournemouth area.‘Drugs wreak havoc on the lives of many, from those abusing substances and the impact it has on their families, to the local communities who suffer from the violent crimes associated with drugs trafficking. The lengthy prison sentences handed to these two offenders should serve as a warning to anyone else involved in criminal activity.’