Two men have been jailed today (17 October), for their involvement in the supply of class A drugs following a proactive operation in Stanwell.
Michael Passmore, 27, of no fixed address, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, while Fawaz Momoh, 27, of Vernon Road, Feltham, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of the same offence following a trial earlier this month.
The court also granted a Criminal Behaviour Order against Passmore, who is now prohibited from entering Surrey indefinitely (until further order).
The two men were charged with the offence in December 2018 following a proactive operation carried out in the Stanwell area to disrupt the supply of class A drugs, during which numerous arrests were made.
The arrests for a wide range of offences, including possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, robbery, assault, possession of offensive weapons and handling stolen goods, were part of a crackdown by a dedicated team of Surrey Police officers following a significant increase in cross-border drug dealing and drug-related harm which first came to light in April 2018.
The team worked hard to tackle the issue using a wide variety of tactics, including proactive targeted patrols and working with the local community to obtain information which led to a number of warrants being carried out and resulted in a decrease in cross-border drug dealing and drug-related violence.
Closure orders were also put in place on addresses associated with criminal and drug-related activity.
Borough Commander Inspector Maxine Cilia said: “The sentences handed to Passmore and Momoh today demonstrate that cross-border drug dealing, no matter how well organised and sophisticated, will simply not be tolerated in our local communities.
“In addition, the court also granted our application for a Criminal Behaviour Order against Passmore, which was a huge result for us as these orders against county line drug dealers are not always easy to obtain in Surrey.”
Insp Cilia continued: “Once we identified there was a significant increase in cross-border drug dealing and drug-related criminal activity in April last year, we took action to address the issue.
“We simply will not tolerate the kind of culture that this criminality brings and wanted to make it as difficult as possible for drug dealers to operate in our local communities.
“Getting involved in gang culture can have serious and potentially devastating consequences, with dealers often not afraid to use violence. Unfortunately there will always be people who choose to live this lifestyle in our communities and are often themselves vulnerable and at risk of exploitation by dealers from outside the county.”
Insp Cilia continued: “We will continue to work hard to further disrupt criminal networks and keep our communities safe. In order to do this we encourage local residents to assist us by reporting any activity that they believe to be suspicious. If you know someone is dealing drugs in your community, please tell us. However, if you do not want to talk to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in complete anonymity by calling 0800 555 111.”
What’s happening and who’s involved?
Dealers will tend to use a local property, generally belonging to a vulnerable person, as a base for their activities. This is often acquired by force or coercion and is a method referred to as cuckooing.
Gangs typically exploit teenagers to deliver drugs from the urban to county location using intimidation, violence, debt bondage and/or grooming. Adult drug users (often addicts) and vulnerable females are also exploited for their properties or to assist with dealing within the county market.
How can the public help?
Some forms of crime are more obvious than others. Drug dealing can be secretive unless you know what it is you are looking for.
A typical situation might involve a car, or other vehicle slowly driving down a street and stopping while deals are made with people running to and from the vehicle from houses nearby.
This might be more obvious if you regularly see vehicles travelling into your street with people you don’t know, often acting quickly and suspiciously.