Two Gravesend county lines drug dealers locked up
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 October 2019
Three county lines drug dealers, including two from Gravesend, have been locked up.
They were dealing Class A drugs in Maidstone.
Kent police said they were caught following a proactive operation by Maidstone officers.
In July 2018, officers investigating county lines cocaine and heroin supply identified that a specific phone was being used to co-ordinate a number of drug dealers in the town.
Analysis of mobile phones seized following the arrest of these suspected street dealers showed texts from this specific phone relating to the marketing of available Class A drugs and arrangements for their delivery.
Enquiries into the phone led officers to retrieve evidence proving one of the men, Reis Bhandal, of Old Road West, Gravesend, had purchased credit for it on several occasions between June 24 and July 6.
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Kent police said further investigation identified that Gavin Bond of Mote Road, Maidstone, and Peace Alaka of The Grove, Gravesend, were working for Bhandal in the co-ordination of the supply network. This included the delivery of drugs to dealers and providing them with access to an address in Maidstone.
Investigators also proved that Bhandal had arranged a taxi to transport some of the dealers from his flat to Maidstone.
All three were charged in connection with drug dealing, but denied all the charges when they appeared before Woolwich Crown Court.
On October 9, Bhandal was convicted of two counts of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and two of being concerned in the supply of heroin. Alaka and Bond were both convicted of one count of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and one count of being concerned in the supply of heroin.
On Friday, October 18 at the same court, Bhandal and Alaka, both 19, were sentenced to six years and three years respectively in a Young Offender Institution. Bond, 35, was jailed for two years and three months.
After the sentencing, Kent Police district commander for Maidstone, Chief Inspector Ray Quiller, said: "These three men were involved in the organised supply of cocaine and heroin to Maidstone.
"The use of mobile phones enabled the advertising of whatever drugs were available and their delivery to the dealers on our streets; however, thanks to the efforts of our investigators, it was these phones that led to their downfall."