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Three men jailed for drugs offences

News   •   Dec 20, 2018 18:15 GMT

Three men from Hackney who ran a drugs operation in Hampshire have been jailed for a total of 23 years.

The gang, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday, 19 December.

Lamar Foster, 26 (22.12.91), of Ward Lane, E5 was sentenced to eight years and nine months’ imprisonment.

Nathan Thompson, 32 (02.08.86) and Jason Thompson, 36 (16.03.82) of Thistlewaite Road, E5 were both sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

The men, who had links to street gangs in Hackney, sold drugs in Southampton over a five year period via a dedicated phone line nicknamed the 'Tim' line.

They were all arrested in April following a joint investigation between the Met's Central Gangs Unit and Hampshire Constabulary.

On Tuesday, 10 April, the operation culminated in a number of search warrants at addresses across London and Hampshire.

During the warrants, Nathan Thompson was arrested at his address in Hackney after a number of items were recovered, including a number of mobile phones that later contained vital evidence in linking the gang to the drugs operation.

The following day, Foster handed himself into police at Stoke Newington police station and Jason Thompson was later arrested by officers on Wednesday, 18 April in Northumberland Park.

Detectives used phone analysis and police surveillance to link the men to the network. The phones evidenced the advertisement of Class A drugs for sale in Southampton.

Detective Constable Aaron Saunders, of Trident's Central Gangs Unit, said: "These three men ran this lucrative county line that had been running for more than five years across London and Hampshire.

"Following a nine-month investigation, these men have been brought to justice and will now serve lengthy sentences behind bars.

"I hope this result sends a strong message out to criminals who continue to deal drugs that they will feel the full force of the law through tough sentencing from the courts."

Chief Inspector Phil Lamb, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: “Dozens of officers in Southampton were part of this operation. It spanned months of hard work and led up to a coordinated cross-county response to a drug network that had been operating in the city.

“The men involved lived locally but would stay in London often and bring drugs from the capital and sell them on the streets of Southampton, using local people to run their business.

“Through Operation Fortress, we look for enforcement opportunities to tackle county lines like this. These operations are complex and take time, but we are dedicated to reducing drug supply in the city, and subsequently the harm drugs cause.

“We will continue to maximise our chances to work our partners to support vulnerable people on the periphery of crime and pursue those that think they can come to Southampton to deal drugs. Our message is, you can’t, you will be caught.

“Our thanks go to the Metropolitan Police Service for leading on this investigation and helping us bring these men to justice.”