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Man jailed for drug offences following Tower Hamlets/Hackney policing operation

News   •   May 07, 2019 17:03 BST

A man caught with £12,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin at his home during a police raid has been jailed.

He is the last person to have been brought to justice following a proactive operation targeting drug dealers across north-east London which has resulted in more than 30 people being convicted for drugs offences.

Jordi Matuba, 22 (14.06.96) of the Woodberry Down Estate, was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday, 7 May, after admitting to two charges of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

He was one of 38 people arrested during early-morning raids in September 2018 at addresses in and around the Stoke Newington area under Operation Ballymore, part of a wider intelligence-led operation by Hackney Police's Gangs Unit which started in January 2018.

It was launched in response to a rise in gang-related violence linked to drugs in the borough.

Of those arrested, 32 people have been convicted and jailed for a combined total of 74 years and 10 months, with Matuba the final defendant.

A proportion of those prosecuted also had Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) made against them, placing further conditions on them upon release.

Detective Inspector Matt Webb, who led the operation, said: "Operation Ballymore is an excellent example of the work being done every day by the Met to target drug dealers and bring them to justice. We used various methods to gain the necessary intelligence and evidence to bring this large cohort of criminals before the courts.

"The link between drug supply and violence in London is evident and operations like this are designed to tackle the root causes of violence and disrupt the illegal activity that drives it.

"A large number of those charged with drugs supply offences have received lengthy jail terms. It sends out a clear message to those who choose to peddle drugs and heap misery on communities, that you do not own the streets, your days supplying drugs are numbered and police have the means and the determination to catch you and hold you to account for your crimes."

Chief Superintendent Sue Williams, commander for the Central East Command Unit, said: “Drug dealing and associated gang violence are a blight on communities across London. Effective operations like this, which successfully struck at the heart of a sprawling criminal enterprise, are what people who live and work in north-east London want to see.

“The large number of convictions is testament to the hard work done by officers securing the necessary evidence for successful convictions> The Met will continue our efforts to tackle serious crime using all of the tools at our disposal.”

Officers obtained and executed a search warrant at Matuba's address on Wednesday, 5 September 2018.

He was present at the flat at the time of the search and officers saw him trying to discard a bag by throwing it out of the rear window of the property.

The bag was recovered by officers, and found to contain wraps containing class A drugs with an estimated street value of around £12,000.

Mobile phones were seized and text messages showing a conversation about drug dealing was presented in evidence. The court heard that Matuba was a member of a local gang.