Police add 37 people to arrest tally during County Lines crackdown

Police raid (stock image)

A further 37 people were arrested in September as part of Kent Police’s ongoing crackdown on county lines drugs supply.

County Lines gangs are criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line.”

Enforcement work by the County Line and Gang Team has also resulted in 40 charges linked to the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine. Officers carried out 28 search warrants and street disruption by plain clothes and uniformed patrols led to almost 30 stop and search checks. Specialist teams to tackle county lines are in operation in areas including Thanet, Maidstone, Medway and Sheerness. Throughout the month police also made 19 drug seizures and recovered almost £20,000 in cash.

Thanet arrests during the month included:

  • On 12 September, officers searched a flat in Ethelbert Road, Margate where a phone suspected to contain evidence of the supply of Class A drugs was also recovered. Jesutomisin Ifeoluwa, aged 21, was charged with possession of criminal property, conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.
  • Simultaneous search warrants were executed on 15 September at addresses in Ramsgate and Broadstairs, suspected to be linked to a county line. This led to the seizure of 227 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine as well as £850 in cash. Mateo Bondzie, aged 22, of Poplar Road, Broadstairs, was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and with possessing criminal property (namely a proportion of the cash seized.)

Detective Superintendent Mike Worrall said: “Through robust and proactive enforcement we are continuing to detect, disrupt and dismantle an increasing number of county lines running into Kent. “We currently have 64 active lines (down from 82 in July) and rest assured our dedicated teams are working day and night to identify and arrest those intent on dealing Class A drugs and causing so much harm to our communities.”

The figures for September include a coordinated week of action (from 14-18 September) which involved the National Crime Agency and other police forces, including the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police.

Det Supt Worrall added: “Working with our partners, including other police forces remains vital in our efforts to tackle this destructive trade and bring offenders to justice.

“We also continue to need your help, so remember to report any suspicious behaviour. By continuing to work together we are getting the message through to criminals that if you try and deal drugs in Kent it is only a matter of time before we will find and arrest you, and bring you before the courts.”

County Lines gangs preying on Thanet youngsters and the work being done to tackle them