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Two men sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for involvement in County Lines

Two men have been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison between them having been found guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin in Portsmouth.

Michael Sumboo, 25, and Dwight Ramon Grant, 26, both of Hackney, London, were arrested following an investigation into County Lines drug supply in Portsmouth by officers from the Drug Related Harm team between 2017 and 2018.

Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court (Thursday 29 April), Grant was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his involvement while Sumboo was sentenced to seven years.

The court heard how Sumboo and Grant had supplied crack cocaine and heroin to users in Portsmouth through a dedicated telephone number referred to as the “TONY” line. This network would use vulnerable people to supply drugs to users in the city.

An extensive investigation into the activity of the drug network by officers across 2017 and 2018 concluded in the search of a property on Crown Street, Portsmouth, on July 4 2018.

The search revealed a quantity of heroin worth £380, crack cocaine worth £80 and more than £4000 in cash. A number of mobile phones and drug paraphernalia were also located.

Both Sumboo and Grant were arrested and subsequently charged.

Following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court, the pair were convicted on Wednesday 21 April, with a jury finding both Sumboo and Grant guilty of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

The court ruled that over the course of the conspiracy in excess of 1kg of crack cocaine and heroin had been sold by the network to users in Portsmouth and on one of Grant’s phones a detailed sales list showed £13,240 worth of drugs had been sold in the city by the network in just a one month period.

Sumboo’s bank account showed that in excess of £75,000 had passed through his accounts, thought to be the proceeds of crime.

Sumboo was also found guilty of acquiring criminal property relating to a period between August 7 2017 and July 4 2018 and had previously plead guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place which took place on December 21 2017.

The court ruled that both Sumboo and Grant had leading roles in the conspiracy and found that each of them had been organising buying and selling on a commercial scale and had been directing others to supply through the threat of violence and intimidation.

Sumboo had previously pleaded guilty to the drugs conspiracy and weapons charge and changed his plea to guilty to money laundering charges during trial, while Grant had pleaded not guilty to all charges. The jury found Grant guilty by unanimous verdict at the conclusion of the trial.

Speaking after the sentencing, officer in charge of the case PC Chris Akass said: “Thanks to the determination, professionalism and persistence of our officers, staff and legal team, this County Line has been dismantled.

“Investigations such as these require painstaking work to ensure those responsible are put behind bars, not just those who are at the bottom of the chain.

“This sentencing demonstrates that we will do everything we can to stop Portsmouth being targeted by violent drugs networks because we know the harm and misery they cause to our communities.

“We can’t tackle this problem alone but with the help of our communities, we can take action against those intent on breaking the law.

“If you have any concerns about drug-related activity in your area, please contact us on 101.”

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