Portsmouth man sentenced to eight years in prison for involvement in County Lines
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A Portsmouth man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his involvement in County Lines networks in Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Following two incidents in 2019, 25-year-old Gabriel Sanusi, of Somers Road, was arrested and subsequently charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and acquiring criminal property.
The first of these incidents occurred on Monday 17 June 2019, when officers investigating suspected Class A drugs activity witnessed Sanusi engaging in suspicious activity on Alver Road. He was subsequently arrested and two phones and a small quantity of cash was seized.
On Sunday 5 July 2019, officers from Portsmouth’s High Harm team witnessed an exchange between Sanusi and a Class A drug user known to officers in Somers Road. He was detained nearby on Margate Road for a stop & search and officers discovered a bundle of Class A drugs.
The court heard that investigations by both Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Constabulary showed that he was responsible for running two drugs lines in Portsmouth and Salisbury.
Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court on Wednesday 9 June, Sanusi was sentenced to eight years in prison, having previously denied the offences.
Drugs supply is often connected to other offending, such as high levels of violence and the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable adults and children.
Inspector Scott Johnson who leads Portsmouth’s High Harm team said: “Our officers work proactively to target County Lines drug dealers who come in and out of Portsmouth with the aim of selling drugs.
“We know that drug dealing and violence are inextricably linked that is why tackling the supply of drugs – especially through County Lines – is a crucial part of our work to reduce violent crime.
“This sentence is a positive result for the city and demonstrates how we continue to disrupt this type of activity in Portsmouth.
“We encourage the public to continue to provide information to us about issues in your area so we can build a stronger picture of what is taking place.”
Some common signs of drug dealing and County Lines activity to look out for include:
An increase in visitors/cars to a house or flat
Regularly changing residents
When you see the occupant, they may appear anxious or distracted
Substance misuse or drugs paraphernalia in the vicinity of a property
Changes in young people, for example having new unaffordable things, going missing or unexplained injuries.
If you have concerns, trust your instincts – if somebody shows signs of mistreatment, or a child seems to be travelling long distances or is unfamiliar with a locality, you can report suspicions to local police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.