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Female-led county lines operation handed 40 years of imprisonment, as ‘missing’ children recovered

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the county lines gang ran between london and bournemouth

A Met investigation into a drugs line from London to Bournemouth resulted in the imprisonment of a gang of six men and women, as well as the safe return of two “exploited” missing children from London. The drug supply was spearhead from London and Birmingham.

On Thursday, May 11, five members of the gang were convicted at Bournemouth Crown Court. On Thursday, June 22, they were sentenced to more than 39 years in jail in the same court.

Hafsa Khan, 23, of Bath Road, West Drayton, was sentenced to six years in jail for conspiracy to supply Class A narcotics. Feliciano Mendes, 19, of Redriffe Road, Stratford, E13, was found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and sentenced to two years in jail.

Lee Kitchener was part of a county lines gang
Lee Kitchener, 20 (Image: MET)

Lee Kitchener, 20, of Burham Close, Penge, SE20, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide crack cocaine/heroin and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine/heroin on Wednesday, February 1. After admitting guilty, he was sentenced to four years and six months in jail.

Two members of the gang were found guilty of facilitating another person’s trip for the purpose of exploitation and conspiracy to provide Class A narcotics – crack cocaine and heroin. Adam Sheikh, 24, of no known address, received a twelve-year jail sentence.

Sarina Duggal, 28, of no permanent address, received a seven-year jail term. Saad Nur, 26, of Guilford Drive in Birmingham, was sentenced to eight years in jail for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Adam Sheikh was part of a county lines gang
Adam Sheikh, 24 (Image: MET)

On 3 July 2022, a 16-year-old teenager from Farnborough was detained in Bournemouth for being in possession of a substantial amount of crack cocaine and heroin. Following his detention, a mobile phone was taken from him, and he was released under investigation while support measures could be put in place to safeguard him. This led to the investigation into the county lines gang.

A spokesperson from the Met said: “This investigation was then referred to the Met’s Op Orochi team due to concerns of the child being used by a county lines gang to supply drugs in Bournemouth. Detectives carried out extensive analysis of communications data of key contacts between the offenders, mobile phone downloads including social media conversations between them.”

They also combed through hours of CCTV footage of a hotel near Bournemouth. Four perpetrators, Sheikh, Nur, Khan, and Duggal, were identified as being in charge of the ‘Hustle’ county drug line that operated in Bournemouth. They had employed the 16-year-old youngster.

Sarina Duggal was party of a county lines gang
Sarina Duggal, 28 (Image: MET)

“It was later established the ‘Hustle’ line was back up and running, again supplying crack cocaine and heroin within Bournemouth. On 21 September 2022, officers from Op Orochi deployed to the Bournemouth area to target this activity.”

“Whilst in Bournemouth, officers arrested Kitchener and Mendes. A large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin was recovered. Additionally, another 16-year-old missing boy from Warwickshire was located within a flat in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth.”

“The following day, 22 September 2022, a warrant was executed in Birmingham resulting in the arrest of the line holders. A large quantity of drugs was located within the flat, along with the handsets used to direct the ‘Hustle’ drug line. A fingerprint of Khan was later identified on some of the drug packaging.”

Feliciano Mendes, was part of a county lines gang
Feliciano Mendes, 19 (Image: MET)

“Since Orochi was incepted in November 2019, we have worked in partnership with 26 county forces to target and close county lines, bringing offenders to justice.”

“This criminal gang were exploiting two children, both missing from London, to run their County Line from London to Bournemouth and in doing so, placed them at the forefront of the supply chain, exposed to the most risk, whilst they harnessed the profits.”

“By bringing charges of modern slavery and drug supply, irrespective of the victim’s engagement, we are able to prosecute the full extent of this criminality and send a strong message to dissuade criminal gangs from using children to sell their drugs.

“The teenagers were not prosecuted and were safeguarded and instead, referred to Children’s Services from respective local authorities and the Single Competent Authority/National Referral Mechanism. Since 1 April 2022 Orochi, working closely with Rescue and Response, have conducted 23 operations, rescuing 33 children from County Lines and charged 31 individuals with modern slavery offences.”

Saad Nur was part of a county lines gang
Saad Nur, 26 (Image: MET)

Detective Constable Jack Jeffries, from Met’s Op Orochi, said: “This investigation resulted in the closure of a significant county drug line supplying crack cocaine and heroin onto the streets of Bournemouth causing misery to local residents.

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