A 36-YEAR-OLD man from Wokingham was one of six people to be jailed for drug offences on Friday, June 16.
David Gavin, 36, of Lockwood Court, off Ashville Way, was sentences for six years after admitting he had supplied heroin.
He was one of five men and one woman who were setenced in Reading Corwn Court, following an ongoing investigation by Thames Valley Police in to what is thought to be a 50-strong drug dealer network that stretched from London to Wokingham.
The investigation was carried out by the Serious and Organised Crime Unit from Thames Valley Police.
Gavin had pleaded guilty on October 28 last year, and had his home raided in July last year.
The other five sentenced at Reading Crown Court were:
- Paul Johnson (38) of Clifford Avenue, Mortlake, had pleaded guilty on 22 August 2016 to conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug – heroin and to conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug – cocaine.
He was sentenced to eight years for each count to run concurrently.
- Andrew Johnson (40) from Church Road, Croydon had pleaded guilty on 22 August 2016 to conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug – heroin and to conspiracy to supply a class A controlled drug – cocaine.
He was sentenced to seven years and four months for each count to run concurrently.
- Kameron Johnsepar (22) from Moyne Place, Ealing, London pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on October 28, 2016 to conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply cocaine. He was sentenced to four years for each count to run concurrently.
- Aminat Animashaun (20), of Crowley Crescent, Croydon pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on May 4, 2017 to conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply cocaine. She was sentenced to four years for each count to run concurrently.
- Kyle Barrett (20) from Tokyngton Avenue, Wembley pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on February 20, 2017 to conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to supply cocaine. He was sentenced to four years for each count to run concurrently.
Thames Valley Police said that the six are the latest to be sentenced as part of Operation Sansa – so far 22 people have been sentenced to a total of 20 years and two months (custodial) plus 24 years and eight months of suspended sentences.
The investigation found that between May 28, 2015 and July 19, 2016 in Bracknell there was a large conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.
In total 52 people were arrested in connection with the whole operation.
The case follows more than 20 warrants, executed on 19 July 2016 as part of Operation Sansa, an investigation into drugs offences by London-based organised crime groups.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Rebecca Cartwright said: “This is a great result and shows the success of our approach under the Stronghold campaign to the pursuit and prevention of organised crime gangs and the commitment to protecting the communities in our region.
“This investigation led us to understand that a London-based organised crime group sent ‘runners’ into Bracknell and the surrounding area to identify vulnerable drug users whose homes they could use as a base from which to sell class A drugs.
“This process is known as ‘cuckooing’. The runners take the keys from the vulnerable drug users, enabling them to come and go and conduct their illicit business as they please. Once the runners have entrenched themselves, these vulnerable residents have little or no say in what takes place at their premises, or who visits.
“This enables the organised crime group to expand their operations into more rural areas, setting up a secure base and using runners to conduct day-to-day dealing whilst control of the ‘business’ is based in their own locality.
“The illegal drugs trade has a devastating impact on a community and the operation today is part of the Thames Valley Police crackdown on such criminal activity.
“We have also been working with our local partner agencies to offer support to those affected by the illegal drugs network.”
LPA Commander for Bracknell and Wokingham, Supt Rob France said: “Thames Valley Police will not tolerate this criminal activity in our communities and as the hearing today demonstrates, we will take robust action to end it and to bring those responsible to justice.
“The sentences show we are working hard to prevent it. The warrants are the culmination of significantly increased police activity which has been targeting the issue since it was first identified.
“Breaking the cycle of drugs addiction can be incredibly difficult, particularly for the vulnerable people who have been targeted and exploited by these drug dealing networks and may feel trapped by the situation.
“If you are someone who is affected by illegal drugs, I would urge you to take advantage of this police intervention and use the opportunity to break the cycle.”