Two drug dealers with links to County Lines gangs have been jailed for more than 8 years.
The two men were arrested during a raid in April 2020 at an address in Dunstable, following an investigation by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team into the supply of drugs in Hertford, as well as in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Shane Filmer, 23, and Reece Campbell, 23, both of Langdale Road, Dunstable, were sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday 9 September.
Campbell was sentenced to 5 years in prison for conspiracy to supply cocaine and diamorphine and Filmer was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months, also for conspiracy to supply cocaine and diamorphine.
Detective Constable David Purvis, from the Serious Crime Investigation Unit, said: ‘Drugs can have a hugely negative impact on our communities and we are dedicated to disrupting this type of criminality in Hertfordshire. Filmer and Campbell were part of a dedicated network dealing class A drugs across three counties. I am pleased they are now off the streets and I want their custodial sentences to serve as a warning to others who choose to deal in county lines. We will not tolerate this in Hertfordshire.’
You can report information about a crime online at herts.police.uk/report or speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via online web chat, which can be launched here: herts.police.uk/contact. You also call the non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress call 999.
Help and support for those with drug addiction
What is County Lines?
County Lines is the name given to describe drug dealing which involves criminal networks from urban areas expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas.
It often involves the exploitation of children, as gangs use young people and those with mental health or addiction problems to transport drugs and money. These gangs establish a base in the location they are targeting, often taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
Dealers typically use a single phone line to facilitate the supply of Class A drugs to customers. The phone line is highly valuable and is protected through violence and intimidation.
Operation Mantis is Hertfordshire Constabulary’s specialist unit that proactively targets County Lines gangs.
What is Cuckooing?
Cuckooing is the term used when gangs establish a base in the location they are targeting, often taking over the homes of vulnerable adults by force or coercion.
How to spot the signs that cuckooing might be happening in your neighbourhood:
- Lots of different people coming and going from an address during the day and at night.
- Suspicious smells coming from the property.
- Windows covered or curtains closed all of the time.
- Cars pulling up to or near to the house for a short period of time.
- An increase in anti-social behaviour around the property.