Three jailed for running County Line
Three people have been jailed for their part in running a County Line in Norwich.
Jamal Goole, aged 24 and of Morris Road in London, was sentenced to four years in prison for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
Katie Knights, aged 37 and of Palmerston Road in London, was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and handling stolen goods.
Abdul Lahdiri, aged 19 and of Holcombe Road in London, was sentenced to three years in a Youth Offending Institute for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
A fourth person, a 16-year-old boy from the London area, was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order at a hearing last month for his involvement in the line. The teenager had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin, and possession of a knife.
Goole, Lahdiri and Knights appeared at Norwich Crown Court today, Tuesday 18 May, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how Goole was responsible for managing the ‘Jacob’ County Line, suppling crack cocaine and heroin in Norwich, between 22 February 2020 and 9 April 2020.
Goole was arrested on Thursday 30 July 2020 after officers from the Norfolk Police County Lines Team and the Metropolitan Police executed a warrant at his address on Morris Road in London. A number of mobile phones were seized, along with a quantity of crack cocaine and heroin, and more than £11,000 in cash.
Analysis of mobile phone numbers showed Goole had sent thousands of text messages offering heroin and crack cocaine for sale in the Norwich area, and was in communication with his co-defendants to coordinate the supply.
The investigation established Knights, Lahdiri and the 16-year-old boy were running the drugs for Goole between London and Norwich.
Lahdiri and the 16-year-old were arrested in Norwich on Friday 3 April 2020. The 16-year-old was seen acting suspiciously in the Bishop Bridge Road area and when stopped by officers, he was found to be in possession of a knife and a set of keys for an address in William White Place. When officers attended the address, Lahdiri was discovered inside the address and it was suspected he was concealing drugs within his anus. Mobile phones were also seized from both the males which were later found to be associated with the Jacob line.
Lahdiri was taken into custody and later produced a package containing 101 wraps of heroin and 57 wraps of crack cocaine. He was subsequently charged and remanded for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
The 16-year-old was released under investigation but four days later, on Tuesday 7 April 2020, was found to be a passenger in a black Mini Cooper stopped by officers in Norwich.
The car, which had been stolen in Essex in January 2020, was being driven by Knights and following searches officers seized a quantity of Class A drugs, mobile phones and cash. Subsequent enquiries found the 16-year-old boy’s DNA on the seized drugs and messages on the mobile phones relating to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin. Knights also had messages on her phone showing her arranging the purchase of the stolen car, and showing her providing an index plate for a car of the same make, model, and colour to the suspected seller of stolen car.
Both Knights and the teenager were later charged.
Goole, Lahdiri, Knights and the teenager are the latest people to be sentenced under Op Orochi, a joint operation between Norfolk Police and the Metropolitan Police in London, which focuses on analysing mobile phone data to target those running County Lines out of the capital into smaller counties such as Norfolk.
PC Callum Watson, from the Norfolk Police County Lines Team, said: "The ‘Jacob’ County Line was a significant and well-established line selling heroin and crack in Norwich. Officers and police staff have worked hard to manage its closure and the arrests of those involved. It has resulted in thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack being taken off the city’s streets, and further to that thousands of pounds in drugs and cash were seized in London.”