Posing with wads of cash and expensive designer watches, members of a ‘County Lines’ gang who used children as young as 13 to make drug runs for them were convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine last week at Exeter Crown Court.
The East London gang flooded areas of Exeter and Devon with drugs and then posted videos of themselves on Snapchat with wads of cash, designer watches and shoes.
Police made the arrests after an undercover operation named Operation Connard saw police officers buying drugs over the phone from a man with a London accent. Police then went to a pre-arranged pick-up point and seized the drugs, cash and mobile phones.
The three ‘County Lines’ known as Mitch, Rico and Pricey were used to send hundreds of text messages to drug dealers every day. In November 2017 a boy known as Kid B was located by the police. He had heroin and crack cocaine hidden on himself and, frightened, he told police “I’m in more debt now, I already owe them £600.”
Children as young as 13 were coerced and threatened into making drug runs from London to Exeter.
Two of the gang, Shuiab Omar Awadh, 24, of Stratford East London and Bobo Faki, 19, of East London were found guilty of conspiracy to
supply Class A drugs. They will be sentenced alongside seven defendants who previously admitted their part in the county lines operation.
The other seven defendants are Hassan Sufi, Yakub Sifi, Ahmed Abdullahi, Faisal Ibrahim, Khadija Shariff, Robin and Jake Taplin all of East London and Robin Janowski of Exeter. A further 17 defendants, local street dealers, have already be sentenced in this operation.