A London drug dealer who sold heroin and cocaine in Chelmsford has been jailed and made subject of a Serious Crime Prevention Order.
Armand Mpita was identified by officers during an investigation into the Khan drugs line between July last year and February this year.
He was arrested in February and charged with three counts of supplying heroin and four counts of supplying crack cocaine.
The 28-year-old initially denied the offences but changed his pleas to guilty at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday May 18.
Mpita, of Manor Road in West Ham, was sentenced on the same day to a total of three years and seven months.
The judge also granted a Serious Crime Prevention Order, which last for five years from Mpita’s release from prison.
It restricts him from owning or regularly using more than one mobile phone and SIM card.
As part of the conditions listed in the order, he must also inform officers of any password or PIN lock and not allow anyone else to use any of his communication devices.
Investigating officer PC Ellie Jack said: “County lines drugs gangs traditionally have a network of runners, who operate out of London and sell drugs in towns and cities outside of the capital.
“Those in charge tend to not get directly involved and recruit others to organise drug deals.
“Unusually, Mpita operated alone, taking orders on his own phone and then going into Essex to sell the drugs.”
This was the first case in which our Serious Violence Unit had applied for a Serious Crime Prevention Order.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “This is just one example of how we use the powers available to us to restrict drug dealers such as Mpita from continuing their criminal activity.
“In the first three months of this year alone, we arrested 170 people in connection with drugs supply in Essex. More than half went to court the day after their arrest.
“We’re committed to keeping people safe from the harm caused by drugs gangs and dealers, and protecting vulnerable people and children who are exploited and groomed by these criminals.
“Every day our officers are targeting offenders and dismantling drugs lines, and information from the public is vital in helping us do that.
“If you have information about drug dealing in your neighbourhood, or are worried someone is being groomed or exploited, please tell us.
“It’s with your help that we can drive criminals like this out of our communities and keep people safe.”