Basildon: Drill music artist jailed in drug investigation
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Specialist Op Raptor drug officers have secured more than five years in jail for a drill artist who used his music to brag about drug dealing in Basildon.
Olusogo Ajewole, who performed under the name B-Levelz, ran the H line, which sold crack cocaine and heroin in the Basildon area.
In his music videos, Ajewole wears a mask or balaclava and boasts about making large sums of money by getting “youngers” [young people] to sell drugs for him.
His songs also express fears of being followed by the police while the lyrics also state: “Raptor’s got me on edge.”
A number of his music videos were used in evidence which was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Officers from Op Raptor carried out a five-month investigation into the drugs line, resulting in warrants being executed at a number of addresses in Basildon, Vange and Purfleet, in December 2020.
These included his recording studio in Vange Park Road and his home in Caspian Way, Purfleet.
When officers forced entry to the 33-year-old’s home, they found him in the living room. Digital scales and crack cocaine, which was being prepared for sale, were on the sofa, where he had been sitting.
The drugs had a street value of about £5,600 and a tub of coins containing about £3,000.
We also found a mask used by Ajewole in his music videos.
Such was the evidence against Ajewole, he had no option but to admit conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 1 April, 2021.
He was sentenced to five years and eight months in jail on Friday, 21 January.
His associate Shane Butcher, 20, of Chevers Pawen, in Basildon, was convicted after trial of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years.
Scott McCormack, 24, was also arrested in connection with the investigation and admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. He is yet to be sentenced.
Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice, of Op Raptor South, said:
“Ajewole was literally caught in the act and the evidence we had compiled against him over the course of five months of investigation meant he had no opportunity but to plead guilty. “He ran the H line, with Butcher and McCormack as his trusted associates, and employed runners to sell the drugs to customers. “Ajewole glorified the lifestyle of a drug dealer in his music videos, bragging about selling drugs and making money, and using young boys to sell drugs. “But the truth is there is nothing glamorous about drug dealing and what he describes in those videos is exploitation of children, needless violence, and the selfish pursuit of making money off the back of other people’s misery.”
Ajewole was among the first to be investigated by the Essex Police Serious Violence Unit, when it was created in July 2020. It has a focus on collating strong evidence on individuals who officers believe are causing the highest harm in our communities.
Often, when suspects are arrested, they have no option but admit their guilt in court because of the weight of evidence against them.