Four sentenced for drug importation and supply conspiracy
As a result of an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), three men and one woman were sentenced on Friday (5/1) for conspiring to import drugs from the US to sell in Southampton.
Adrian Best, aged 31, of Nettlestone, Netley Abbey, Southampton, Isak Mohamed, aged 33, of Kingsfield Gardens, Bursledon, Southampton and Reece Joseph, aged 32, of Tremaine Grove, Hemel Hempstead all pleaded guilty at previous hearings to conspiracy to import a controlled drug of class B with intent to evade prohibition/restriction and conspiracy to supply a class B controlled drug – cannabis.
All three men were sentenced to four years and eight months’ imprisonment each.
Tinotenda Pfupajena, aged 36, of Neva Road, Southampton was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years. She must also complete 25 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 120 hours of unpaid work.
Pfupajena previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to evade a prohibition on importation of a class B controlled drug.
Between January 2018 and October 2019, Best, Mohamed and Joseph worked together to import cannabis from the US to the UK using bitcoin to pay for the drugs.
Once in the UK, the drugs were delivered to numerous addresses in the Southampton area, some of which were controlled and occupied by Pfupajena.
The cannabis was then advertised and sold via social media.
All four were charged on 1 September 2021.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Emily Trevillion, of SEROCU, said: “Today, following a lengthy investigation, we have seen four people sentenced for their part in a sophisticated operation.
“The group worked together to import vast quantities of cannabis across international borders using cryptocurrency and online accounts in the hope that they would not be identified.
“However, they have been disrupted as a result of SEROCU’s dedicated and hard-working investigative teams.
“The wide impact of drug dealing causes untold damage to people’s lives and SEROCU will continue to disrupt and tackle these offenders to protect the communities that we serve.
“This case highlights the capabilities SEROCU has to identify those involved in organised crime and this result shows that anyone involved in offences of this nature will be found and brought to justice.”
If you have information about the supply of drugs in your community, please contact your local police force on the non-emergency number 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.