Welwyn Garden City county lines drug dealers jailed
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Six drug dealers who ran a county lines drug network in Welwyn Garden City have been jailed for a combined total of more than 20 years.
The gang operated the ‘Q’ line in the town, between August and December 2021, bringing in heroin and crack cocaine from Luton.
The gang’s ringleader appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday 16 February. Assad Ashraf, aged 28, of Putnoe Street, Bedford, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years and six months for conspiracy to supply a class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Ashraf was also handed a five-year Serious Crime Prevention Order, which will restrict his ability to become involved in criminal activity upon release from prison.
Abanur Abubakar, aged 31, of Kenton Road, Harrow, was convicted at St Albans Crown Court in January 2023 and was sentenced to four years for possession with intent to supply a class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).
Four of the gang had already been convicted at St Albans Crown Court in January 2022:
Tanvir Islam, aged 27, of Denbigh Road, Luton, was sentenced to six years and nine months for conspiracy to supply aclass A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin)
Stacey Skeggs, aged 32, of Nettlecroft, Welwyn Garden City, was sentenced to three years for possession with intent to supply aclass A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin)
Wayne Dorken, aged 44, of no fixed address, was sentenced to two years suspended for 18 months for conspiracy to supply aclass A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin)
Nazia Mahboob, aged 26, of Atherstone Road, Luton, was sentenced to 22 months suspended for 18 months for possession with intent to supply aclass A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).
Detective Sergeant Jon Leak, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team, said: “Ashraf ran the Q line, which supplied drugs out of Luton into the Welwyn area. The disruption of this line will make a significant impact on drug use and associated crime in the region. It also sends a clear message that drug dealing will not go unpunished and anyone involved will be caught and jailed.
“Exploitation of vulnerable people is just one of the tragic symptoms of organised drug gangs. County lines dealers can coerce people into providing a base for dealers to operate or to act as distributers themselves. They often use young people to handle drugs and money, drawing them deeper into gang affiliation that often leads to violence and abuse.”
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