Six people have been sentenced after a county lines drug network was dismantled following a complex investigation.

During County Lines Intensification Week in October last year, five simultaneous warrants were carried out at properties in Bath and Keynsham.

Officers made arrests and seized quantities of heroin and crack cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of £38,000, as well as large knives and an estimated £15,000 in cash.

The investigation has now resulted in six people being sentenced, with the last defendant being jailed at a hearing on Tuesday (19 September).

The defendant sentenced yesterday was:

  • Courtney Tanner-Mulholland, 18, of Keynsham, sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to charges of being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine, two counts of being in possession of criminal property and one count of dangerous driving.

Five others have also been sentenced in recent months, after admitting charges of being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine. They were:

  • Jamaal Newman, 19, of Hercules Way, Keynsham, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ detention centre.
  • Lubabalo Hale, 20, of no fixed address, who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
  • Oliver Lynes, 20, of Beckford Gardens, Bathwick, who was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years. He was also given a curfew, ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity order.
  • Sylvia Bearman, 38, of Shaws Way, Twerton, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. She was also given a nine-month rehabilitation order requirement.
  • A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who was sentenced to a two-year detention order in a young offenders’ detention centre.

Newman, Hale and Lynes had also admitted an offence of being in possession of criminal property, while the 17-year-old admitted two counts of the same offence.

Investigating officer, PC James Abbott from the County Lines Drugs team, said: "These are predominantly young people with their lives ahead of them, who’ve been influenced by the false and harmful ‘kudos’ of dealing class A drugs for cash.

"Drugs have a devastating impact on our communities, and negatively impact people in many ways including addiction and as victims of crimes linked to this illicit trade. We’ll continue working hard to gather and act on intelligence, so we can work with the public to make our neighbourhoods a hostile place for these networks to operate in.”

This work is part of an ongoing operation by Avon and Somerset Police, often working in partnership with colleagues from other UK police services, to dismantle and disrupt criminal gangs running drugs into local towns and villages, close lines down, bring those behind this criminality to justice and deliver a clear message that if you operate in Avon and Somerset we will find out, we will come after you and we won’t stop until we arrest you.

County line gangs often recruit children, young people, and vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and money, often exposing them to a world of coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons. Dealers may also take over the home of a vulnerable person as a base for drug dealing.

Police thank those in our communities who share information with us around drug-dealing, suspicious activity, or vulnerability that they see. This helps to create an intelligence picture which informs our operations. Everyone can play their part by telling police or Crimestoppers, if something doesn’t look or feel right.