Welwyn Garden City county lines drug dealers jailed
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Two drug dealers who ran a county lines drug network in Welwyn Garden City have been jailed for a combined total of more than 13 years.
The pair operated the ‘B’ line in the town, between December 2022 and March 2023, bringing in heroin and crack cocaine from Luton.
The two men appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday 25 April. Mohammad Islam, aged 35, of Cromwell Road, Luton, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to supply a class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin). Mohammed Rahim, aged 28, of Trinity Road, Luton, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years and six months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).
Detective Sergeant Chris Cowell, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team, said: “Islam and Rahim ran the ‘B’ 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.”
You can report information about a crime online or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat,. You also call the non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress call 999.
If someone you know has a drug problem, they can get help by contacting Frank on 0800 77 66 00 or visiting www.talktofrank.com.
What is County Lines?
County Lines is the name given to describe drug dealing, which involves criminal networks from urban areas expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas.
It often involves the exploitation of children, as gangs use young people and those with mental health or addiction problems to transport drugs and money. These gangs establish a base in the location they are targeting, often taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
Dealers typically use a single phone line to facilitate the supply of Class A drugs to customers. The phone line is highly valuable and is protected through violence and intimidation.
What is Cuckooing?
Cuckooing is the term used when gangs establish a base in the location they are targeting, often taking over the homes of vulnerable adults by force or coercion.
How to spot the signs that cuckooing might be happening in your neighbourhood:
Lots of different people coming and going from an address during the day and at night.
Suspicious smells coming from the property.
Windows covered or curtains closed all of the time.
Cars pulling up to or near to the house for a short period of time.
An increase in anti-social behaviour around the property.