Four men jailed for almost 20 years for their involvement in Southampton drugs line
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A drugs gang responsible for supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Southampton have been jailed for a total of almost 20 years.
Known as the Zee network, the Organised Crime Group operated between March 2022 and January 2023, primarily in the Newtown area of Southampton.
Appearing at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 7 December), the group’s leader Daniel Mahmood and key player Daniel Baker were jailed for their part in the drug line.
Mahmood, 29, of Argyle Road was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison while Baker, 28, also of Argyle Road was sentenced to five and a half years.
Meanwhile, Paul Moschakis, 39, of Northam Road and Thomas Jennings Joyce, 29, of Derby Road, were both sentenced to three years and four months and two years and eight months respectively for their involvement.
All four had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
A fifth person, Lorraine Smith, 37, of The Avenue, also pleaded guilty to the same offences and is to be sentenced at a later date.
The court heard how more than 1kg of Class A drugs were seized from the group as part of an investigation by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary's Serious and Organised Crime Unit, however much higher quantities had been supplied in Southampton between March 2022 and January 2023. Officers also seized £4110 in cash as a result of the investigation. More than 2000 individual wraps, as well as larger packages of Class A drugs, seized were found to have a street value in excess of £150,000.
It was heard how police conducted a warrant at a Derby Road address under Section 8 of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on June 6 2022 following information received about the drug line. A significant quantity of Class A and Class B drugs were seized, as well as a business card advertising the Zee drugs line. Forensics and fingerprint analysis led officers to focus their enquiries on Mahmood and Jennings-Joyce.
Mahmood was arrested in October 2022 and an address on Argyle Road was searched under Section 32 of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act, revealing several mobile phones, cannabis, various drugs paraphernalia and £2500 in cash hidden in a box in the garden of the address. Analysis of one of the phones seized was confirmed to be the number linked to the Zee drug line.
In December 2022 Jennings-Joyce and Baker were both arrested and further quantities of Class A drugs were located. Moschakis and Smith were also arrested for their involvement in the line. All five were charged and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis.
Detective Sergeant Claire Smith, who led the investigation, said: “We hope that Southampton residents will be reassured to hear that this drugs gang is now behind bars.
“Officers involved in this case worked tirelessly to dismantle this drugs conspiracy and I am pleased that those involved have now been brought to justice for their crimes.
“Tackling drug related harm is an absolute priority for us. We regularly carry out local enforcement in order to target those involved in the supply of Class A drugs and bring offenders to justice.
“The supply of drugs is often connected to other offences such as high levels of violence, or even the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable adults and children, which is why we take such a tough stance.
“The disruption of this gang is another of many recent successes for the district. Bringing offenders such as these to justice, and supporting vulnerable people, is a joint effort and we hope this result reassures the local community that police and partners are working hard to dismantle drugs supply networks.
“We continue to encourage anyone who has information about drugs supply in their neighbourhood to report this to police, as this helps us build up an evidential picture of the issues affecting your area.”
If you have concerns about drug-related activity in your neighbourhood please contact us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.