Six individuals have recently been sentenced following the dismantlement of a county lines drug network. This operation, which took place last year, involved simultaneous police warrants executed at properties in Bath and Keynsham in Somerset. The authorities successfully made several arrests and seized significant quantities of heroin and crack cocaine, with a street value surpassing £38,000. Avon and Somerset Police also confiscated large knives and an estimated £15,000 in cash.
The investigation reached its conclusion as the last defendant received their sentence on Tuesday, September 19th. Eighteen-year-old Courtney Tanner-Mulholland from Keynsham was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to the supply of heroin and crack cocaine, as well as possession of criminal property and dangerous driving. This outcome marks the closure of one chapter in the fight against county lines drug networks.
Over the past few months, five other individuals have also received their sentences after pleading guilty to charges connected to the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. These individuals include Jamaal Newman, 19, from Hercules Way, Keynsham, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ detention center, and Lubabalo Hale, 20, of no fixed address, who received a three-year imprisonment sentence.
Additionally, Oliver Lynes, 20, from Beckford Gardens, Bathwick, was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, along with a curfew, 180 hours of unpaid work, and a 30-day rehabilitation activity order. Sylvia Bearman, 38, from Shaws Way, Twerton, was handed an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and a nine-month rehabilitation order requirement. A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, received a two-year detention order in a young offenders’ detention center after admitting two counts of being in possession of criminal property.
The County Lines Drugs team, led by PC James Abbott, explained that these individuals, mostly young and with their futures ahead of them, were enticed by the allure of dealing class A drugs for money. The sentencing of the six individuals involved in this county lines drug network sends a clear message that law enforcement is actively combating this dangerous trade.
- What is a county lines drug network?
- What is the purpose of simultaneous police warrants?
- How do county lines drug networks exploit young people?
A county lines drug network is a criminal operation where drug dealers establish a supply chain between urban areas and suburban or rural locations.
Simultaneous police warrants are carried out during an operation to ensure the element of surprise, prevent suspects from alerting others, and facilitate coordination between law enforcement agencies.
County lines drug networks often target vulnerable young individuals to recruit them as drug couriers or dealers due to their susceptibility to manipulation and impressionability.