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JAILED: County line drug gang from Hemel Hempstead jailed for more than 29 years

 Published on: 8th September 2023   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Members of a county-line drugs gang that worked in Hemel Hempstead have been jailed for more than 29 years.

The line, run by the gang from Tower Hamlets in East London, operated out of the addresses of vulnerable people in the town who had been “cuckooed.”

Prosecutor Wayne Cleaver told St Albans Crown Court that a large number of advertising text messages offering heroin and cocaine were sent to a library of potential customers in a period between May 2021 to mid-December 2021. Mr Cleaver said that during that period it was estimated that the drugs supplied weighed no less than 1.88 kilos.

Four men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.

Tolga Ahmet, aged 23, of Whitethorn Street, London, was in control of the gang. He was sentenced to nine years and one month.

Tyrese Abbas, aged 22, of Buckingham Road, Bletchley, who was described as a “local face”  was sentenced to eight years and six months.

David Charles, aged 49, of Oban Street, London, was sentenced to six years and four months. He was part of the group that travelled backwards and forwards between Hemel and East London.

The group’s driver Joe Naulls-Buttigieg, aged 26, of Eric Street, London, was sentenced to five years and three months.

Detective Sergeant Chris Cowell, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team, said: “This gang ran a major drug supply network in the Hemel area, dealing in crack cocaine and heroin using several ‘cuckooed’ properties as a base for their criminal activities. Successfully dismantling another significant network will have a big impact on drug use and associated crime within Hemel Hempstead and surrounding areas. This will also send a message to anyone involved in drug dealing that we are watching and they will be caught and face long jail terms.

“Exploitation of vulnerable people is just one of the tragic symptoms of organised drug gangs. County lines dealers can coerce people into providing a base for dealers to operate or to act as distributers themselves. They often use young people to handle drugs and money, drawing them deeper into gang affiliation that often leads to violence and abuse.”

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