County lines drug dealers jailed

A county lines drug dealing gang who admitted selling crack cocaine and cannabis on the streets of Basildon, have been jailed for a collective total of nearly 20 years.

Basildon Crown Court heard how the gang, known as the “Honey Pot Boys”, were arrested by officers from the South Operation Raptor team in October 2016.

John Hammond, 51, was spotted by officers on October 13, 2016 carrying out a suspected drug deal in the underpass beneath Broadmayne.

Hammond was stopped and searched and found to have a hammer tucked in his waistband, a plastic bag containing 10 wraps of the Class A drug crack cocaine, £50 cash and a mobile phone linking him to drug supply.

Later the same day officers searched Hammond’s home in Shepshall, Laindon where they found Hammond’s brother Michael, 45, and 54-year-old Anthony Mead. They also found 11 grams of cannabis, digital scales with traces of cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia.

Mead of Rayside, Basildon was also found with a mobile phone linked to drug supply and a Stanley knife while Michael Hammond of Brock Hill, Runwell was found with a mobile phone, also linked to drug supply and a cannabis grinder.

Raptor officers then went to search Mead’s car in Falstones where they saw Darren Marable, 23 and 24-year-old Silik Watt who ran off.

Officers quickly caught up with them in nearby Somercotes where Marable of Linley Road, Tottenham was searched and found to have a mobile linked to the supply of drugs, £300 in cash and a tub of Vaseline.

All five were arrested and charged and pleaded guilty to various offences at Basildon Crown Court where they were sentenced as follows:

Darren Marable, who ran the Honey Pot line, was jailed for seven years and four months after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Watt of Park View, Tottenham, who also controlled the Honey Pot line, was jailed for three years and nine months after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs.

John Hammond, who was used as a drugs runner by the gang, was jailed for five years and six months after admitting conspiracy to supply a Class B drug, possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, two counts of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, possessing an offensive weapon,  possessing a Class B drug.

Anthony Mead, who acted as a driver for the gang, was jailed for two years eight months after admitting two counts of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug and possessing a knife.

Michael Hammond, who acted as a runner for the gang, admitted two counts of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug, and possessing a Class B drug. He was given a deferred sentence for six months on condition he remains clean of drugs.

Following the sentencing investigating officer PC Adam Blackwell of the South Operation Raptor team said: “Marable and Watt were the two ring leaders of this drugs line and were bringing crack cocaine and cannabis from London to supply on the streets of Basildon.

“Unfortunately for the Honey pots Boys, and as is always the case for people trying to deal drugs in Essex, it didn’t take long for Operation Raptor to catch up with them and take the sting firmly out of this gang’s tail.

“We hope this sentencing sends a clear message to this gang and others like them, who think they can come to our county and deal drugs on our streets, that Op Raptor will be waiting for them.”

The gang were sentenced on Thursday September 26 at Basildon Crown Court.

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]