Five drug dealers have been jailed for a total of 36 years for running a ‘county lines’ network selling thousands of pounds of addictive class A drugs in Peterborough.
Jodeci Ofulue (24) Parkside Estate, Rutland Road in Hackney, Rashayne Hunter, (20), of Evelyn Court, Amhurst Road in Hackney, Sherif Isiaka, (19), Eastdown House, Amhurst Road in Hackney and Samuel Awoyera, (20) of Evelyn Court, Amhurst Road in Hackney and a 17-year-old youth from Hackney, travelled from London to Peterborough and Huntingdon to sell crack cocaine and heroin.
The dealers marketed and sold the class A drugs using dedicated mobile phone aliases ‘Ricki’ and ‘TJ’. They had listed the financial value of heroin and crack cocaine they had sold on a piece of cardboard and threw it in a bin outside the house they were using in Peterborough.
Detectives used phone analysis and police surveillance to link each man to the drug dealing network, demonstrating contact between the defendants’ phones, the two ‘deal lines’ and local drug users in Cambridgeshire, as well as the locations of the deal lines and the defendants’ personal phones.
During the course of the investigation, drugs with a street value in excess of £17,000 were seized, along with designer clothing, jewellery, cash in excess of £25,000 and a watch valued at over £20,000, which had previously been reported as stolen.
Jodeci Ofulue was arrested on 2 November 2017 as he approached an abandoned vehicle in Hawksbill Way in Peterborough. When police attempted to stop him he ran away, dropping his keys and the mobile phone controlling the ‘Ricki’ line. Police found nearly £14,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine, scales and used latex gloves in the car.
The other men were arrested at their home addresses on 1 March this year.
Ofulue was jailed for six years and nine months.
Hunter, convicted after trial, was a frequent visitor to the Peterborough address before November 2 and was seen with other co-conspirators. He was jailed for 10-and-a-half years.
Isiaka, helped organise ‘reloads’ – fresh supplies of heroin to be delivered to the address in Huntingdon. He was jailed for six years and 11 months plus seven months for a separate offence of possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply after he was stopped by police with 101 wraps in Braintree, Essex on 24 March 2018.
Ayowera, was linked to the conspiracy partly through his role ‘topping up’ mobile phone credit for one of the drug lines. He was jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
The 17-year-old ‘street-dealer’ was found with 286 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin in his trouser pockets worth around £3,000 when police raided a home in Huntingdon in November 2017. He was jailed for four years and four months.
DS Gary Clarke of Trident’s Central Gangs Unit, said: “This was a complex investigation into a lucrative ‘county line’ drugs network, operating between Hackney and Cambridgeshire. Drug dealers prey on local users and use violence and intimidation, bringing with them misery and violent crime to local communities. These sentences demonstrate just how seriously the criminal justice system is taking the issue of county lines drugs rings.”
Elaine Cousins from the CPS said: “This London ‘county lines’ gang operated a lucrative drug-dealing network in two towns outside the capital.
“The leaders of the conspiracy made attempts to keep the dealing at arms’ length in order to protect themselves from detection.
“However the prosecution was able to link each of the gang members to the dealing through careful analysis of the telephone evidence, police surveillance and the proceeds of crime they had but which they could not explain.”