Drug dealers who ran a sophisticated line bringing dangerous Class A substances to the streets of Southend and employing children to do their dirty work have been jailed for a combined 11 years.
The Pablo line operated in the Southend area, exploiting a vulnerable drug user by using her home as a base.
Officers responsible for dismantling the network found Leon Frroku, 20, and Nathan Muskitta, 23, ran a sophisticated operation which differed from the typical illicit set-ups regularly uncovered by our specialist teams.
Frroku was identified as the dealer responsible for directing the runners on the ground, while Muskitta was behind the sending of bulk marketing messages advertising Class A drugs to vulnerable users.
The operation utilised an operational drug line phone as the “face” of the scheme.
Following the sending of bulk messages advertising crack cocaine and heroin, responses were diverted to an alternative number.
Throughout the course of our relentless investigation, we uncovered a total of 10 different divert numbers.
Frroku played a leading role in the scheme, despite breaching a suspended prison sentence imposed just last year for his role in a separate drugs line, which was also dismantled by our officers.
He was the main controller of the divert phone lines and directed runners – including a juvenile – to undertake the dangerous work of dealing Class A drugs on the streets.
Muskitta was entrusted with holding the main Pablo line phone.
Our officers managed to track more than 4,000 outgoing advertising messages across a 23-week period.
Frroku and Muskitta were arrested in June 2022, with Frroku caught throwing a bag containing a significant amount of Class A drugs, with a street value of £25,000, from a window of a property in Shoeburyness.
Both defendants made no comment to officers in interview, but later admitted being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.
At Basildon Crown Court on Friday 7 July, Frroku, of Colne Drive, Shoeburyness, was sentenced to eight years and two months imprisonment, while Muskitta, of Boscombe Road, Southend, was jailed for three years.
Amongst the couriers sentenced for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin were:
A 17-year-old boy, from Southend, was sentenced to a two-year youth referral order, supervision requirement and activity requirement.
Mckinnon Chaviri, 22, of Wool Pack, Shoeburyness, was sentenced to 23 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Jessica Osman, 20, of Stanier Close, Southend, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a curfew order attached.
Sherraldine Gallagher, 56, of Southchurch Road, Southend, admitted two counts of permitting a premises to be used for sale of Class A, and was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation orders attached.
The investigation was led by our Operation Raptor team, which is dedicated to disrupting and dismantling drug lines in Essex.
The vulnerable were exploited
PC Phil O’Connell, officer in the case, said: “The operation behind the Pablo drug line was different from the typical network we usually see. “It involved the regular changing of phone numbers used to control the sale of harmful and dangerous illicit drugs and the running of the operation. “Our diligent and relentless investigation into those behind the operation, conducted over a lengthy period of time, left them with no choice but to admit to their crimes. “The dealing of Class A drugs is not a business model. It is a criminal enterprise which leaves vulnerable users and exploited children in its wake. “Southend and wider Essex are safer places for every line we dismantle. We will not stop and those who work to bring drugs into the county will be caught.”
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