Somerset dealers jailed

Three men and two women were sentenced today (Monday 21 March) at Taunton Crown Court. Tia Heenan, Kevin Sheppard, Sonny Shepherd and Kyeron Silk were sentenced for conspiracy to supply class A drugs. All were from London. Thalia Banks, 20 of Hunstrete Lane in Compton Dando was also sentenced.

The convictions followed a joint operation between Avon and Somerset Police and the Metropolitan Police. Officers were targeting county lines drug supply. The group were found by police to have brought approximately 5kg of illegal drugs from the capital. They supplied the drugs in to Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil between August 2020 and February 2021. Police believe their drugs trade was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Sentences were handed down on the group totalling more than 20 years in prison as follows:

  • 31-year-old Sonny Sheppard, of Blackwell Lane in London, guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • Kevin Sheppard, 50 of Fletching Road in Greenwich, was jailed for 52 months.
  • Thalia Banks, 20 of Hunstrete Lane in Compton Dando, was handed a sentence of 18 months. Suspended for two years.
  • And Kyeron Silk, 28 of Ancona Road in London, was told he would receive a custodial sentence. That was equal to the 13 months he had already served on remand. He was also handed an exceptional community order.

Judge James Townsend said the defendants were involved in a sophisticated, well-organised operation. He described the operation as a menace bringing intimidation, misery and violence to young people in Somerset.

DS Paul Cobb stated after the sentencing: “The joined up approach being conducted by the Metropolitan Police and Avon and Somerset Police has resulted in putting key members of a crime group behind bars. We will continue to target these county line drug supply networks to prevent the harm they can cause in Somerset.

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