In 2020, detectives from Kent Police’s County Lines and Gangs Team found that a specific phone, known as the AJ line, was being used to offer class A drugs to users in the town.
Investigations identified that Armani Hemley was in the possession of the phone and used different cars to travel to Kent to deliver the drugs.
On 27 April, officers in an unmarked police car spotted a man driving a Ford Focus who was acting suspiciously. They approached the vehicle on foot when it stopped near to West Park Road. When they asked the driver to wind down his window, he sped from the scene colliding with one of the officers’ arms as he passed.
Patrols then saw the vehicle driving dangerously in the Headcorn and Harrietsham areas before losing sight of it. Later the same day, investigators located the Focus parked unattended in Rye, East Sussex, where it was recovered.
Following enquiries, it was discovered Hemley had hired the vehicle in London and, whilst he subsequently reported on 28 April that it had been stolen, they were later able to prove he had been the driver the previous day.
On 30 June, officers attended an address in Bermondsey, Greater London. As they approached, Hemley attempted to run from the premises, throwing a package over a wall. He was detained and when the package was examined it was found to contain 82 wraps of heroin and 161 deals of crack cocaine. The officers also seized £180 from a bag he was carrying and a mobile phone that was later proven to be the AJ line.
When the house he had just left was searched, a further 42 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were seized along with a single piece of crack cocaine weighing 11.5 grams and a kilogram of cutting agent.
The street value of the recovered drugs, plus the amount calculated to have been dealt over the previous three months, was estimated to be around £18,000.
Hemley, of Ethronvi Road, Bexleyheath, Greater London was later charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and dangerous driving.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court and on Friday 25 June 2021, was sentenced to five years and ten months’ imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for a total of five years.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Andy Julier, said: ‘There is no doubt that Hemley played a significant role in a county line drug supply network over a three month period. Despite his efforts to remain anonymous and avoid arrest, we tracked him down to an address in London and he is now starting a prison sentence.
‘Anybody seeking to come to Kent to deal class A drugs should be left in no doubt that they will receive similar attention from our proactive resources and will be brought to justice.’