Two county line dealers have been jailed after they sent bulk text messages to users in Tunbridge Wells offering class A drugs for sale.
Officers from Kent Police’s County Lines and Gangs Team identified that drug users in the town were regularly receiving the marketing messages from a specific phone, between March 2020 and January 2021.
Following a complex investigation, officers identified that Connor Martin (left photograph) owned the phone and regularly travelled from Greater London to Tunbridge Wells to sell drugs, with the assistance of a local resident, Henry Muggridge (right photograph).
A search warrant was executed at an address used by Martin in Carshalton, Greater London on 16 February 2021.
Inside the premises, officers seized the phone that had been used to send the messages along with two wraps of cocaine, a quantity of cutting agent, two machetes and £500 in cash.
On the same day, a search was completed at Muggridge’s flat in Tunbridge Wells and three sets of digital scales were seized. Investigators also recovered two knives under a pillow and a sword at the side of his bed.
When the scales were analysed, two had cocaine residue on them and one had traces of heroin.
Both Martin, of no fixed address, and Muggridge, of North Farm Road, Tunbridge Wells were arrested while the search warrants were being executed.
They were later charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to supply heroin, between 4 March 2020 and 22 January 2021.
Both men pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Thursday 20 May, 19-year-old Martin was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment and 32-year-old Muggridge was jailed for three years and four months.
Investigating officer, PC Samantha Smith said: ‘These dealers used a phone known as the ‘Dan line’ to supply class A drugs over an extended period.
‘Our enquiries tracked down the two criminals who thought they could remain anonymous while making a profit living off some of the most vulnerable in our community.
‘They are now in prison and anyone else seeking to supply cocaine and heroin in Kent should be left in no doubt that they too will be brought to justice.’