Drug line controller jailed after being caught dealing from hotel room – Essex
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A drug dealer has been jailed for 26 months after being caught in a hotel room with Class A drugs and a ‘deal line’ following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
She was tracked down by plain-clothed officers from BTP’s County Lines Taskforce.
Angela Gravely, 38, and of York Road, Southend-on-Sea, attended South Essex Magistrates’ Court on 25 June where she pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply drugs of Class A status and one count of possession of a controlled drug of Class B status.
A judge at Basildon Crown Court sentenced her to 26 months imprisonment on Friday 30 July. She is also required to pay a victim surcharge of £190.
On Thursday 24 June, officers from BTP’s dedicated County Lines Taskforce were on duty in Southend-on-Sea when their attention was drawn to a hotel room booking near Southend Central railway station.
Enquiries revealed that the booking was made using a mobile phone number connected to a ‘deal line’ – a mobile phone linked to selling drugs.
As officers entered the hotel room under section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) Gravely dropped a plastic container of Class A drugs.
A thorough search of the hotel room was conducted, and officers found four mobile phones, wraps of Class A drugs and equipment used to cut and weigh drugs.
One of the phones was face-up on the windowsill and its screen was filled top to bottom with the same message drafted to send to tens of recipients, stating “back on with both”.
Gravely was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs of Class A status and taken to police custody where she gave no comment to all questions put to her in interview.
The drugs found in Gravely’s hotel room were tested and found to total 10.6 grams of crack cocaine and 4.6 grams of heroin with a combined street value of approximately £2,200.
BTP County Lines Taskforce lead, Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams, said: “The proactive work of the officers in Southend in June has led to a drug line being dismantled and harmful drugs removed from the community.
“It’s clear from the persistent text messages she was sending out offering heroin and crack cocaine that she was running a lucrative drug dealing business.
“Thankfully, she’ll now have plenty of time on her hands in prison to rethink her criminal activity and consider a new career path.”
“Whether you see us or not, our relentless County Lines Taskforce officers are working day in, day out to stop the movement of drugs across the country – we’ll clampdown on this crime type wherever it occurs.”
BTP’s County Lines Taskforce – a police team dedicated to tackling organised criminals using the railway to transport drugs – was setup with Home Office funding in December 2019.
A key aim of the team is to identify and safeguard vulnerable children and adults often exploited by these organised criminals to transport drugs and cash between import and export locations, which can be hundreds of miles apart.