London-based drugs gang sentenced in Brighton
The eight were sentenced when they appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (6 July) having been convicted at previous hearings.
They were among 80 people arrested during a six-month long operation carried out by detectives from Brighton and Hove Police's Community Investigation Team into the supply of drugs into the city between July 2016 and February 2017.
The 'Zak line' defendants sentenced on 6 July were one group in the long-term 'county line' drug dealing conspiracy investigation, codenamed Operation Glenlivet by Sussex Police.
The Zak dealing phone line remained in Bromley, South East London, and the group used 16 and 17-year-old runners who they sent from Lewisham to Brighton to supply the drugs.
Tamarapreye Soroh, also known as Preye, 22, of Queen Anne Avenue, Bromley, had a leading role. He held and managed the drug line phone from his home in Bromley as well as visiting Brighton to deal in person on certain days. He was sentenced to five years and four months.
When he was arrested, he had possession of the “Zak” deal phone, which he attempted to destroy.
Soroh, who had no previous convictions for drugs supply, recruited and instructed the young street runners in Brighton.
Detective Inspector Dee Wells of the Brighton Community Investigations Team said; "Our investigation found significant text messages corroborating his role. Messages between him and co-defendant Kieren Sakhabuth, 21, of Elmcourt Road, London SE27, showed Sakhabuth as reporting to Soroh on many drug deals were happening, what he had left in stock and how much money he had collected.
"Early in the investigation, a drugs warrant was executed at an address in Brighton. Cash and drugs were seized to the value of around £3000 and the occupant was Kieren Sakhabuth. He was employed as a 'street runner' in the city and his phone showed that there was more than just one street runner working for the Zak line in the city at any one time.
"Sabkhabuth had no previous convictions and his defence argued that he was trying to pay off his student loans and cannabis debt. Judge Paul Tain reminded him that lots of students have loans but do not resort to dealing heroin and crack and sentenced him to three years in prison.
See photos of Soroh (left) and Sakhabuth (right) in above photo.
Others in the group, who were among the street runners, were also sentenced:
Sade Woolnough, now 19, of Bideford Road, Bromley, was 17 when she dealt to undercover officers and was sentenced to 18 months for her role;
Chakotai Saunders, 21, of Boundfield Road, Lewisham, SE6, was given three years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs;
Linsey Lumunye, 22, of St James Close, Carshalton, was given two years and two months for conspiracy to supply class A drugs;
Jerome Johns, 21, of Kelling Gardens, Croydon, was given 18 months, also for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs:
David Harris, 35, of Merevale, Hollingdean, Brighton, a local man who allowed his premises to be used, was given a 24 months sentence suspended for two years;
Desharn Flynn-Koromo, 18, of Moremead Road, London SE6, was 17 when he dealt for the Zak line on one occasion in Brighton. He received a Youth Rehabilitation Order, even though he is now 18.
See photos here, left to right, of Lumunye, Saunders and Johns.
Dee Wells added; "The sentencing of this group brings the prison sentences to 132 years for this operation. We are dedicated to tackling the supply of drugs in this city and the firm sentences handed out by Judge Tain should be heeded. We continue to work with partners in the local authority and voluntary agencies, and will relentlessly pursue the peddlers of drugs”.
See police advice on drugs issues here.