Bruno Te, 29, was initially arrested by Neighbourhood Support Team officers on patrol in Peterborough on 9 June 2019 after they had information about a suspected drug deal.
During a search, officers found nine wraps of cocaine, six wraps of heroin, £911.87 in cash and three mobile phones on Te.
Following his arrest, the team searched his girlfriend’s home address where he claimed to be living, which revealed a hidden wealth through the presence of items such as designer clothing, footwear and jewellery, which was not consistent with his stated occupation of a part-time door supervisor and casual barber at a hair salon in Lincoln Road.
Receipts were found at the property showing purchases totalling about £10,000 over a two-month period, all paid for in cash.
Te was released under investigation pending further enquiries, including financial, forensic and telephone analysis.
One of his mobile phones was downloaded which showed a number of messages relating to the supply of class A drugs and referred to the ‘Blacks’ line – a notorious drugs line running out of Peterborough, which Te was suspected of being the principle member.
HMRC records showed Te having no declared income since 2017, and under £9,000 in declared income the previous year, however evidence obtained by police showed he had access to a significant amount of money.
Bank records showed thousands of pounds in cash being paid into Te’s accounts – over the space of 14 months, payments of more than £43,000 were made into one of his bank accounts, more than £5,000 to another in the space of three months and more than £13,000 into a third account over the space of a year.
More than £24,000 entered a bank account linked to Te in Portugal, his native country, believed to be payments made by him from his drug dealing in Peterborough.
A debit transaction was regularly made to the girlfriend of Te’s brother, who was showing as the registered keeper of a Porsche Panamera, albeit Te was suspected to be the actual owner and main user.
On 22 January last year (2020), Te was stopped in Westgate, Peterborough, driving the Porsche. The car was seized, he was disqualified from driving for a year and handed a four-month suspended prison sentence in June after he was found to be in possession of false identity documents and had no insurance.
After many months of enquiries, on 23 October, Te was located at Stanstead Airport attempting to leave the country and fly to Portugal but was intercepted by the Neighbourhood Support Team and arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
He was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine and heroin, as well as acquiring criminal property, which he admitted in court.
Te, of Hinchcliffe in Orton Goldhay, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (8 January) where he was sentenced to a total of 54 months in prison.
DC James Campbell said: “With the evidence stacked up against him, Te had no choice but to admit he played a significant role in the ‘Blacks’ county line, distributing heroin and cocaine throughout Peterborough.
“County lines is a term used to reference drug networking, which involves organised crime groups extending their drug dealing business from big cities into new areas.
“It more often than not involves the exploitation of vulnerable young people and adults by violent gang members in order to move and sell drugs across the country. Disrupting a key member of this line will have a significant impact on the drugs market in Peterborough and hopefully protect young people from being drawn in to criminality.”