Dealers who bragged about selling drugs are jailed
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A drug dealing gang have been sentenced to a combined total of almost 20 years in jail after some of their members bragged about their crimes in rap music lyrics – which their leader later claimed to have stolen from other artists and was unaware of what they meant.
Chay Maguire-Baker, Kieran McNamara, Leon Frroku and Paul Harding who were involved in the ‘Dexter’ drugs line all admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Rapper Jeff Onuh – who goes by the stage name ‘VI’ – denied conspiracy to supply Class A drugs but was found guilty by a jury. He was shown overwhelmingly to have a significant role in the operation.
Each of the men were sentenced on Wednesday (30 March), at Basildon Crown Court.
They will join Dylan Mills, who was the main line holder, in jail. He was sentenced to three years and eight months in July 2021 for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property.
The line was supplying Class A drugs into Southend, as well as Bournemouth, in Dorset.
Although our specialist officers from Op Raptor south were able to show overwhelmingly how each of the men were connected to the drug line using a variety of police tactics, a key part of the evidence which connected the group to drug dealing were music videos which Onuh had made and posted on his websites.
One particular video featured three of the gang appearing to discuss running a Class A drug line. In that video, Frroku, Onuh and Mills are seen to handle large sums of cash and to pass packages to other men.
That video was played in court during Onuh’s trial at Basildon Crown Court, alongside a translation of the lyrics provided by Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice, who leads our Op Raptor south team.
During examination at his trial, Onuh accepted the interpretation of the lyrics and claimed he regularly takes lyrics from other artists and passes them off as his own. As a result, he claimed to have no idea what the lyrics meant.
During the video, Onuh refers to his phone “popping” and needing “more credit” to send messages.
He also openly refers to paying for “Da Vinci [designer] teeth” using the money he makes from selling cocaine.
As a result of an extensive investigation, each of the men were arrested and charged with being conspiracy to supply of Class A drugs.
Although Maguire-Baker, McNamara, Frroku and Harding were all forced to admit their parts, Onuh maintained he had nothing to do with drug supply.
He was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Jeff Onuh, 27, of Peckham Rye, in London was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail.
Chay Maguire-Baker, 27, of Peckham Road, London, was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail.
Kieran McNamara, 23, of Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.
Paul Harding, 39, of Victoria Road, Southend, was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Leon Frroku, 19, of Colne Drive, Shoebury, was sentenced to 21 months in jail, suspended for two years.
Dylan Mills, now 22, of Chinchilla Road, Southend, was handed his sentence last year.
Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice, of Op Raptor south, said:
“We were able to prove beyond any doubt that these men played a variety of roles in supplying Class A drugs into Southend and indeed into Bournemouth. “The evidence that we were able to collate left the vast majority of them with no other option but to admit their guilt. “Onuh, however, tried to lie his way out of it. He claimed to have no knowledge of Class A drug supply; he said he stole lyrics for his rap songs from other artists and passed them off as his own; and even more unbelievably, he claimed to be completely unaware of what those lyrics meant. “Thankfully, the jury in his trial saw through his lies and excuses and found him guilty.” DI Fitzmaurice added: “Drugs are a poison on our communities. Some people seem to still believe they can come to Essex, take advantage of vulnerable people and sell their product on our streets. “Our message to them is quite clear: you can’t. If you do, you may think you are getting away with it, but you will be oblivious to talented, specialist officers building a case against you. “And when we arrest you, you will have very little option but to admit your guilt.”