THREE men have been jailed for operating a county lines drug network supplying heroin and cocaine from Birmingham into Stratford.
Deon Suleman of Adria Road, Balsall Heath, and Murtaza Rashid of Wilton Road, Sparkhill, were sentenced to prison at Birmingham Crown Court for conspiracy to supply Class A heroin and cocaine. A third defendant, Haidar Ali, was found guilty of being involved in the conspiracy.
Suleman, 23, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to seven years and four months imprisonment, on September 7.
Rashid, 21, and Ali, 22, were found guilty after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
Rashid was sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment, while Aeli was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
The ‘Mitch’ county lines drug network was operated from the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, and sold crack cocaine and heroin to drug users in Stratford.
The line was initially held and operated by Suleman where he would send large amounts of bulk text messages out to his customer base, and shortly after this Rashid would travel to Stratford and use various addresses of drug users to sell the drugs from.
Suleman was the initial line holder and controller of the county line from February 2021 until June 19 2021, when he was arrested, charged and remanded for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
Rashid is a close associate of Suleman, and from February 2021 until June 19 2021, he was the main runner for the Mitch line, where he was making regular trips to Stratford, on an almost daily basis to sell drugs either from his vehicle or from addresses of known Class A drug users known as ‘cuckooing’.
Following Suleman’s arrest, Rashid took control of the Mitch line.
Ali is a known associate of Rashid and was identified from CCTV, buying a credit top-up for a Mitch line phone at a store in Stratford.
DC Phil Langstone, who was in charge of the investigation, said: “County lines drug dealers target the most vulnerable, ruining lives and blighting communities.
“We are pleased that these three have been taken off our streets and are now serving time behind bars.”