County Lines marketing man sentenced to 44 months in prison
Main article content
A drug dealer who ran the marketing for a prolific county line delivering drugs to Surrey has been convicted and sentenced.
Omed Raofi, 21, was responsible for advertising the drugs his gang supplied. He'd send thousands of text messages to vulnerable drug users in East Surrey, advertising special offers on crack cocaine and heroin and signing off the texts with the county line name: "Harlem". His clients would then text him their orders for delivery; or he would share where and when one of his drugs runners would be in the area, so the users could meet and buy drugs face to face.
The name "Harlem" was used in the same way that a legitimate business would use their branding - to reinforce to users the quality and service that they could expect - particularly when the phone numbers used to send the text messages were changed frequently. When Raofi was arrested, officers located four “burner” phones, five extra sim cards, and boxes for a number of other phones. They also seized £420 in cash, which has now been forfeited under the misuse of drugs legislation.
Raofi was arrested on 10 June at his home address in Fairmead Crescent, Edgeware. He pleaded guilty to two charges of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs at Guildford Crown Court on 24 July and was today sentenced to 44 months imprisonment.
PC Bush said: "Omed Raofi thought he could keep ahead of the law by handling the marketing, rather than the delivery, of the drugs. He'd frequently change phone numbers, using pay and go sims in cheap "burner phones", in an attempt to stay off our radar. While we are often able to arrest the drugs runners, people like Raofi regard the runners as expendable. By targeting the people responsible for the marketing we believe we have completely dismantled the activities of this criminal gang."
We are doing all we can to make Surrey the safest county it can be, but we rely on information from the public. If you believe you’ve seen signs of drug dealing in your community, say something and report it to us. It may seem small or insignificant but it helps us build a picture of wider issues:
What are the signs of potential drug dealing?
- Lots of visitors, who don’t stay very long, arriving at all times of the day and night
- People waiting in cars outside particular properties exchanging small packets or cash
- Lots of visitors bringing items such as T.V's or bikes but leaving empty handed
- Lone/vulnerable neighbours suddenly having groups of young men living at their address.
What we want to know
- Time, date and place
- Vehicle registrations and the make, model and colour
- Descriptions of people and details of what they were doing
- Direction they travelling to and from
- How many times you have seen them – is it always at the same time of day?