Bridgwater drugs gang sentenced
Seven members of a county lines drug gang have been sentenced at Taunton Crown Court.
The gang transported Class A drugs from the West Midlands and sold them on the streets of Bridgwater. Their activities were disrupted by Police after members of the public reported drugs being openly sold in the town. Officers identified a number of locations in the town where transactions were being made. They stopped several people seen acting suspiciously. Evidence obtained during these stops provided further leads. This led to the identification of two phone lines which were being used to coordinate sales of heroin and crack cocaine.
A total of nine warrants were subsequently conducted at addresses in Bridgwater, Wolverhampton and London. This led to the arrests of four men and three women. Significant sums of Class A drugs and cash were also recovered following searches of the properties. Also recovered were a number of weapons, ammunition for a gun and a stab vest.
Appearing at Taunton Crown Court, the following people were all sentenced for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs:
- Natasia Gayle, 26, of Woden Road, Wolverhampton – jailed for three years and six months
- Malique Orrell, 27, of Hamstead Road, Birmingham – jailed for three years and one month
- Emmanuel Buyondo, 26, of no fixed address – jailed for three years and four months
- Tina Austin-Saunders, 43, of no fixed address – jailed for two years and nine months
- Lewis Cunningham, 20, of Hillfields Avenue, Bristol – jailed for two years and two months
- Clare Finka, 48, of Bridgwater – given a two-year suspended prison sentence and told to attend a drug rehabilitation course
- Phoenix Fox, 33, of Bridgwater – given a two-year suspended prison sentence and told to attend a drug rehabilitation course
Speaking after the sentences had been handed down, Detective Sergeant Jonathan Atkin said: “County lines gangs continue to be a significant national problem. Those behind them don’t care about the harm they cause to communities or to the vulnerable people they often exploit, only for the money their unscrupulous actions can make. These sentences send a clear message to those individuals involved in transporting harmful drugs into our towns and villages that we will come after you, arrest you and stop you.”