Two men responsible for running a county lines drug operation from London to Somerset have been jailed today (18/4).
Lamar Bowen and Raheem Keane trafficked Class A drugs including heroin and cocaine from the capital before exploiting vulnerable users to sell them in Taunton and Wellington.
Taunton Crown Court heard Keane ran the operation from London for eight months before it was dismantled by officers.
He used a flat rented by an associate in Taunton to store the drugs and deposited the cash it generated into a third-party’s account before withdrawing it in London.
The jury were told how, using the drug money, Keane went on several lavish holidays abroad, including one in Marbella. They were also shown photos taken on these trips as well as of significant sums of cash which were taken by him on his mobile phone.
The 25-year-old, of Brent, London, denied being involved in the operation but was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs following a two week trial.
Bowen, 27, of Brent, London, also initially denied his role but pleaded guilty to the same offence on the second day of the trial.
Keane was jailed for seven years while Bowen was sentenced to three years and nine months behind bars.
Another man, aged 47, and a woman, aged 23, were found not guilty of being involved in the conspiracy.
Bowen, who was wanted for immigration offences at the time of his arrest, will be deported back to Jamaica after serving his sentence.
Detective Inspector Martyn Cannon said: “Keane and Bowen are responsible for perpetuating the misery dangerous drugs cause throughout both Taunton and Wellington.
“They saw the towns as easy targets and believed they were able to operate their drug trafficking and supply operation without being caught.
“However, in Avon and Somerset we’re committed to making our area a hostile place for drug-dealers and we’re working extremely hard to identify and dismantle other drugs operations like this one.
“We need people to be our eyes and ears to help eradicate drug-dealing in our local communities. If you have information about people you believe are dealing drugs, please call us on 101 or contact us via our website.
“Or you can give the information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org. They never ask for your name or trace your call.”