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Gang jailed after network flooded Cornwall with drugs

Gang jailed after network flooded Cornwall with drugs

Published by Emma Cartonat 8:07am 14th October 2019. (Updated at 11:25am 14th October 2019)

A gang that helped to flood Cornwall with thousands of pounds worth of drugs are now behind bars.

They were part of a so-called County Lines network that was transporting Class As from London to the Duchy.

Six people were sentenced to a total of 36 and a half years on Friday, after an "extensive investigation" that began in February 2019.

Officers carried out a string of warrants in the capital, Bodmin, St Austell and Newquay, disrupting what was known as 'The Billy Line'.

Five people have been jailed, a man from Bodmin given a suspended sentence and a teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, handed a Youth Rehabilitation Order.

Who has been sentenced?

  • Connell Bruce, aged 31 from Haringey, was sentenced to 11 years two months.
  • Timon Davis-Blake, aged 20 from London, was sentenced to seven years and ten months.
  • Shanice Morrison, aged 28 from Tottenham in London, was sentenced to five years.
  • John Griffin, aged 56 from Bodmin, was given a two year suspended sentence.
  • Antoinette Bourne, aged 28 from Hackney, was sentenced to four years and six months.
  • Amari Orgill, aged 22 from Haringey in London, was sentenced to six years.
  • A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a Youth Rehabilitation Order.

Shanice Morrison and John Griffin were found guilty on Friday.

Bruce, Davis-Blake, Bourne and Orgill and the 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Gang Jailed on Drugs Charges

 

What are the details of the case?

Speaking after the trial concluded on Friday, Detective Inspector Pete Found said the investigation was extensive.

"The trial stemmed from an extensive police investigation into County Lines drug supply in Cornwall. This investigation was called Operation Ligament.

"On Wednesday 27 February 2019, officers from Devon and Cornwall police and the Metropolitan Police joined forces to execute warrants on numerous properties suspected to be involved in drug dealing".

DI Pete Found added: "Over 200 officers entered the properties simultaneously under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). 

"The warrants were carried out at addresses in the London boroughs of Haringey, Lewisham and Hackney, as well as in Bodmin, St Austell and Newquay in Cornwall.

"The properties were identified through intelligence gathering processes as being part of a county line that fed from London to Cornwall. 

"The warrants executed disrupted the whole line, known as 'The Billy Line'."

DI Pete Found continued: "This has been a comprehensive investigation into a well-established organised criminal network. The police operation has successfully dismantled the network who are no longer operating their criminal enterprise.

"This has undoubtedly made communities in both Cornwall and London safer".

He went on to say that: "Specialist officers from Cornwall's Proactive Disruption Team undertook the investigation which utilised hundreds of officers from Devon and Cornwall and the Metropolitan police during the arrest phase of the operation.

"I would like to like to thank everybody involved in bringing what was a very serious and complex case to a successful conclusion, including witnesses, CPS and the prosecuting Barrister along with colleagues from the Metropolitan police".

DI Pete Found

John Griffin, Amari Orgill and Connell Bruce were found not guilty of a modern slavery charge.

50-year-old Londoner Darren Bruce and 65-year-old Irene Sampson of St Dennis were cleared of both conspiracy to supply and modern slavery charges.

32-year-old Michael Rowe from Newquay was found not guilty of conspiracy charges.

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