Jailed: Barking members of county lines drug dealing gang with estimated turnover of £1.5m
- Credit: Archant
Two men from Barking who formed part of an 11-strong county lines drug dealing gang have been jailed after pleading guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine.
Edison Shahu of Longbridge Road and Albes Tocilla of Harts Lane were part of the self-styled “Dave” county line which had an estimated turnover of £1.5million, peddling drugs mainly in Southend.
The pair, aged 28 and 24 respectively, were sentenced to four years and eight months along with nine accomplices at Woolwich Crown Court between June 16 and 19.
Also sentenced were: Jetmir Cenaj, 21, of Dartford, who was jailed for 12 years six months.
Aretur Gashi, 30, of Gravesend, was sentenced to 10 years six months. Elidon Haxhaij, 22, of Twickenham, was sentenced to 10 years.
Mohammed Rashid, 27, of Kentish Town, was sentenced to nine years. He previously pleaded not guilty. A 17-year-old boy of no fixed address, who had pleaded not guilty, was sentenced to three years.
Sali Veshi, 26, of Walthamstow, was sentenced to six years. He previously pleaded not guilty. Timothy Challis, 47, of Westcliff-on-Sea, was sentenced to four years eight months.
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Nathan Ndaba, 20, of Southend, was sentenced to two years eight months. Raymond Healy, 33, of Leigh-on-Sea, was sentenced to one year two months.
Det Cons William Looker said: “These offenders were involved in a sophisticated plot to supply cocaine across Southend.
“They saw the misery caused from drug abuse as a means to make money and their successful prosecution means that 11 organised and unscrupulous offenders are facing a substantial amount of time in custody.”
The gang used one phone number to strike deals using a handset registered to a “Dave” at a Southend address. Police believe it to be a fake account holder.
The phone typically sent or received more than 750 calls or texts a day with as much as £80 spent daily on top up vouchers.
Once a message was received on the main number, a different phone was used to send instructions to Southend based couriers.
More than 85 events, including vehicle stops and search warrants, took place during the investigation.
Evidence was gathered from reviewing CCTV, traffic cameras and analysing records from more than 25 phones.
A total of 80 wraps of cocaine were seized from an address in Southend on February 27 last year. Forensic enquiries linked Haxhaij to the packages.
Cash totalling £6,750 was seized from a car stopped by Essex Police on the London-bound A13 on June 9, 2019.
Another vehicle stop along the Southend seafront, led to the seizure of cocaine and mobile phones on July 1.
CCTV footage captured Rashid, Challis, Tocilla, Shahu and Ndaba buying top up vouchers later used on the central handset.
Vehicle registration checks found at least six cars were used by couriers to transport cocaine to Kent. The vehicles were either owned or insured by Rashid, Challis or Haxhaij.
Detectives estimate the offenders made £607,000 between March and August 2019. Expanding the figure gives the line an annual turnover in excess of £1.5m.
The county line was shut down after warrants were executed across north Kent, Essex and south London on August 21.
During the raids, officers seized half a kilo of cocaine from an address in Humber Road, Dartford where Gashi, Cenaj and the teenager were arrested.
Fifty wraps of cocaine were seized from an address in Optical Court, Gravesend, where Veshi was arrested. Challis, Rashid and Healy were also re-arrested on the same day. Shahu, Tocilla and Haxhaij were arrested the following week.
Ndaba was the final offender to be detained and was arrested at his home on October 3.
Det Cons Looker said: “Anyone with ambitions to supply drugs should be aware that we have resources and expertise to unravel their pattern of offending, no matter how sophisticated they may consider it to be.”
Mario Abbate, 27, of Old Road West, Gravesend and Zenel Byberi, 25, also of Old Road West, Gravesend, have also been charged with conspiring to supply cocaine and are due to stand trial in October 2020.