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Essex: Thirteen members of drug gang jailed
4:21pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
Members of a prolific gang of drug-dealers have today been taken off the streets and put behind bars after a year-long operation led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
Thirteen members of the Basildon-based gang are facing lengthy prison sentences for offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, robbery and money laundering following the trial at Basildon and an earlier trial at Southend Crown Court.
The gang, originally from London, targeted the town as a base for a sophisticated drug-dealing enterprise and took advantage of vulnerable residents who were dependent on drugs, promising regular supplies of crack cocaine and heroin in return for use of their homes as a base for storing and dealing Class A drugs.
An operation was launched in June 2012 after an increase in gang-related violence in Basildon linked to drugs supply. A dedicated team was put together to identify the gang members, gather evidence and stem the flow of drugs being brought into the town.
Officers from Essex Police’s neighbourhood policing teams, intelligence and serious and organised crime units were formed to operate under Operation Kilo.
Detectives soon discovered a highly-organised criminal enterprise involving gang leaders in London and a network of local runners who took over residential properties. Daily text messages were sent to local drug users promoting special offers on Class A drugs and dealing was carried out in the homes or in other locations around the town including underpasses.
One strand of Operation Kilo involved the deployment of undercover officers to buy drugs from the gang members and gather evidence against them. The undercover officer, who cannot be named, was seriously injured during the investigation but has now made a full recovery.
Two trials have been running alongside each other at Basildon and Southend Crown Courts. Five people stood trial at Basildon Crown Court.
Mohamed Hassan, a 31-year-old unemployed man from Dalrymple Road in Lewisham; 19-year-old unemployed Thomas Symons from Woolwich; and 19-year-old unemployed Perry Bohm from Burrage Road, also in Woolwich, were all arrested in November 2012 and subsequently charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, conspiracy to supply heroin, robbery and inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm with intent.
Symons and Bohm both pleaded guilty to the drugs charges at an earlier court appearance. Symons was found not guilty of robbery and assault
Hassan was found guilty of all charges. Bohm had denied robbery and the assault but was found guilty. He too had previously pleaded guilty to the drugs offences.
Romy Bullen, a 25-year-old female delivery driver from Rider Close in Sidcup was arrested in December 2012 and later charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin. She was found not guilty of both counts.
Aisha Aden, a 24-year-old student, was arrested in February 2013 and charged with money laundering. She was found guilty.
Six pleaded guilty at earlier hearings. A 17-year-old boy from Tottenham; 21-year-old Kyle Larmond of no fixed address; 19-year-old Ross Bannister of Wellington Gardens in Charlton; 36-year-old John Newton of Newberry Side in Basildon; 19-year-old Joshua Porter of Innes Close in Wickford and 21-year-old Sunny Dosanjh of Hylton Street in Charlton all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
They will all be sentenced on October 31 or November 1 at Basildon Crown Court.
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