Drug dealer is first to be jailed using modern slavery laws in Norfolk
A man from London who was the first to be convicted for County Lines drug dealing in Norfolk under modern slavery laws has been jailed.
Nathan Hamilton, aged 29 and of Mulberry Street in London, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court today (Tuesday 17 September) after pleading guilty to arranging the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, along with two counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin at a hearing in July.
Hamilton appeared in court alongside Shaun Ellis, aged 26 and of no fixed address, and Blaire Carpenter-Angol, aged 27 and from London, who also pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how Ellis was responsible for running the ‘Chase’ dealer line, supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Great Yarmouth, whilst serving a custodial sentence in HMP Wayland for other matters.
Ellis abused the prison’s communications system, which is meant to prepare prisoners for release, on a daily basis to call Hamilton, who he had employed in a managerial role. During these calls Ellis would apply pressure and aggression on those involved in the running of the County Line and to ensure the operation was uninterrupted.
Officers from the Great Yarmouth Neighbourhood Policing Team tracked Ellis to the top of the County Line following the arrest of Hamilton in Great Yarmouth on Thursday 11 October 2018. Officers stopped a VW Polo on Fullers Hill and the driver was identified as Nathan Hamilton and his passenger in the car Carpenter-Angol.
Officers seized four mobile phones and arrested both the men on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs into Great Yarmouth. Whilst in police custody officers grew suspicious that Carpenter-Angol was secreting drugs within his bowel and he was taken to the James Paget Hospital where two packages, containing almost 600 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were recovered.
Further investigations revealed that Hamilton had been driving two boys, aged 15 and 16, to and from London and Great Yarmouth to deal Class A drugs in September and October 2018.
Officers identified the boys and found them to be immature and vulnerable and both have since been identified as victims of modern slavery.
Hamilton was sentenced to 10 years and nine months in prison whilst Ellis must serve 11 years and eight months. Carpenter-Angol was sentenced to five years in prison.
Two further people who were operating for the Chase dealer group were also sentenced for conspiring to supply Class A drugs.
Thimotiw Adetona, aged 19 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to 17 months years in prison after officers stopped him in Rodney Road in Great Yarmouth on Friday 6 July 2018 and found him in possession of more than £500 in cash and 21 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin.
Nicholas Lawrence, aged 48 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison after officers seized mobile phones from him in the Gapton Hall Road area on Tuesday 25 September 2018 containing significant information in relation to the supply of Class A drugs.
Sergeant Tony Hogan said: "Today’s sentences reflects the seriousness of these offences and is the culmination of a 12 month investigation into an organised crime group who exploited vulnerable people for their own financial gain. This is the perfect example of how a County Line operates and it is the first case in Norfolk where we have secured a prosecution under modern slavery laws. Officers in Norfolk not only remain committed to targeting those who supply Class A drugs but also to using the full force of the law available to us to stop those responsible.”
Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall added: "This is the first conviction of its kind in Norfolk and East Anglia as a whole. The use of modern slavery legislation is an important aspect of targeting those criminal networks who exploit vulnerable children and adults within communities for their own financial gain. Today’s conviction sends a clear message that we will utilise all legislation available to us nationally to stop County Lines drug dealing and pursue offenders under Gravity.”