Head of Dover drug dealing network is jailed
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The head of a drug dealing group which sold heroin and crack cocaine in Dover has become the twelfth and final member of his network to be jailed.
Michael Bedford ran the so-called 'B' line, which made around sixty deals a day in the town before its members were among thirty-six people arrested in early-morning drugs warrants in February 2020.
Bedford admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and was jailed for eight and a half years at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday 13 January 2020.
The 30-year-old, formerly of Alexandra Place, Dover, is the twelfth person connected to the 'B' Line to be jailed, with the total sentences given to the group now exceeding 50 years.
In 2019, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate gained evidence that drug users in Dover were buying heroin and crack cocaine through phone numbers saved only as 'B'.
Officers carried out a warrant at a house in Folkestone Road on Thursday 23 January 2020 and seized a phone which contained videos of the group's two main stockists packaging up drugs for street dealers to sell on.
Further intelligence gathering led to the identification of the boss of the network, Michael Bedford, known as 'B'.
Bedford was in charge of two stockists, who moved drugs on to street dealers to sell, and call handlers, who exchanged messages with users.
It is estimated that the 'B' line supplied nearly five kilograms of heroin and crack cocaine, worth around £300,000, to drug users in Dover between June 2019 and February 2020.
Bedford, who had been serving a prison term for part of the period in which the line operated, was arrested in Folkestone on Wednesday 4 March.
Detective Constable Alan Poulton, one of Kent Police's investigating officers, said: 'This long-running and thorough investigation peeled away every level of this drug dealing network, from the street dealers, marketers and stockists, right up to Bedford.
'I am pleased with the number of lengthy sentences secured and hope that the number of people taken out of circulation will rid Dover of those who prey on the vulnerable.
'Kent Police is determined to make the county a no-go area for drug dealing networks like this one, sparing residents the associated crime and anti-social behaviour.'
Since the Kent Police operation in Dover in February, a total of forty drug dealers have been convicted of or admitted offences, with twenty-seven now serving prison sentences.