Whitechapel man is the first to be convicted of county lines drug dealing under slavery laws in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 13:45 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:06 11 July 2019

A stock image of a seizure of heroin. Picture: PA

A stock image of a seizure of heroin. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A man from Whitechapel has become the first person in Norfolk to be convicted of county lines drug dealing under modern slavery laws.

What is county lines drug dealing

County lines drug dealing is when criminals deliberately target vulnerable children in London and force them into selling drugs outside of the capital.

Victims are groomed with drug dealers promising them cash, friendship and status but once they are involved they are controlled by the use of threats, violence and sexual abuse.

According to the Children’s Commissioner an estimated 4,000 teenagers in London are being exploited through county lines drug dealers.

If you think a young person you know could be in danger contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Nathan Hamilton of Mulberry Street, used two "vulnerable" 15 and 16-year-old boys as slaves to sell crack cocaine and heroin in Great Yarmouth - 140 miles from his home.

The 29-year-old admitted arranging the travel of another person with a view to exploitation and two counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin, at Norwich Crown Court yesterday (July 10).

Shaun Ellis, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

A third man Blaire Carpenter-Angol, from Tottenham, north London, had stuck drugs up his bum when he was arrested by police.

The 27-year-old was taken to hospital where two packages of almost 600 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were removed.

The court heard how Ellis was responsible for running the "Chase" dealer line, supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Great Yarmouth, while he was doing time for another offence.

The 26-year-old abused a prison communications system, meant to get prisoners ready for release, to mastermind Hamilton's dealing.

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Officers from Great Yarmouth tracked Ellis to the top of the county line after Hamilton was arrested along with Carpenter-Angol when a VW Polo they were travelling in was stopped in the seaside town.

Officers seized four mobile phones and arrested both on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Detectives discovered Hamilton had been ferrying the two "immature and vulnerable" boys between London and Great Yarmouth to deal the class A drugs.

Both boys were victims of modern slavery.

Sgt Tony Hogan said: "This conviction sends a clear message that we will use all legislation available to us nationally to stop county lines drug dealing.

"This is a perfect example of how a county line operates and it is the first case in Norfolk where we have secured a prosecution under modern slavery laws."

Ch Supt Dave Marshall added: "The use of modern slavery legislation is an important aspect of targeting criminal networks."

Hamilton and Ellis are due to be sentenced on September 16.

Carpenter-Angol admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and is awaiting sentencing.

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