Six members of two drugs gangs operating in the Southend area have been sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison.
The Jay and Mus drugs lines worked in tandem, using each other as back-up if they were too busy or ran out of drugs to supply.
The Jay gang earned up to £13,000 a week from the supply of cocaine and, when advertising for new drivers, offered to pay them £240 a day – or £62,400 a year for a five-day week.
Following a short but thorough investigation, Southend officers executed a series of warrants in Southend, Rochford and Benfleet on 16 March 2022, assisted by officers from our Force Support Unit, Operational Support Group, Dog Section, Op Falcon team, Southend Community Policing Team and the Special Constabulary.
During searches of seven properties and five cars, officers seized 239 wraps and a lump of cocaine, cannabis plants and cannabis bud, together with more than £25,000 in cash £12,600 of designer trainers and a bracelet valued at £37,440. Officers also recovered two knives, a hammer, several phones and unused syringes,
Members of the two gangs and their main supplier were sentenced on 22 September 2023 at Basildon Crown Court.
Sgt Adam Jarvis said after the hearing:
“The members of both gangs thought they were above the law until my officers caught up with them. “And, thanks to the weight of evidence we gathered, they had no choice but to admit to their criminal activities when they appeared at court and were sentenced accordingly. “We don’t tolerate those who prey on vulnerable people and we will continue to investigate reports of drug dealing when they are brought to our attention. “So we need you to report what you know about drug dealing or anything related to that. You can do this via our website at www.essex.police.uk/ro or by ringing 101. “Your information will help us to combat and bring to justice other drugs gangs who cause misery in our communities.”
Eren Karagozlu, 31, of Woodlow, Benfleet, was the head of the Jay gang, employing runners to deliver cocaine to his customers. He was jailed for six years and three months after previously admitting to conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Karagozlu’s ‘business partner’ was David Cadge, 31, of Carnarvon Place, Southend, who weighed, cut and wrapped drugs at his home, ready for selling. He jailed for four years and three months after admitting conspiracy to supply cocaine and possession of cannabis.
Michelle Dennis, 43, of Coleman Street, Southend, was Karazoglu’s most trusted runner who worked for him three or four times a week. She was jailed for two years and four months having previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Her brother, Kingsley Dennis, 46, of Jackdaw Close, Shoeburyness, supplied large amounts of cocaine for both the Jay and Mus lines. He had previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and was jailed for four years and six months.
The head of the Mus gang, 25-year-old Tyler Mihill, of Bournemouth Park Road, Southend, was jailed for five years and two months. He had previously admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine, as well as production of cannabis, after a cannabis grow was discovered in his bedroom.
His brother Bailey Mihill, 23, also of Bournemouth Park Road, Southend, had also admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine. He was jailed for two years and six months.
Two men connected with the case were sentenced on 21 December 2022 for the parts they played in the gangs’ operations.
One of the Jay gang’s runners, 37-year-old Danny Giggs, of Portland Avenue, Southend, had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cannabis. He was given an 18-month jail term, suspended for two years.
Mus’ top runner Daniel Watkins, 40, of Middle Mead, Rochford, was sentenced at the same time as Giggs. He delivered cocaine to the gang’s customers in the evenings after returning from work. He was jailed for two years, suspended for two years after having admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine. He was also ordered to forfeit £1,214.05 cash.
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