Published: 20:20, 04 May 2021
| Updated: 20:34, 04 May 2021
Three county lines dealers who targeted vulnerable people to push drugs in Kent have been jailed for a total of more than 20 years.
Alex Oni played a leading role in coordinating multiple county lines which primarily operated in Gravesend between January and September 2019. The lines often coerced vulnerable people into supplying the substances, including a 12-year-old boy.
Oni was arrested in September 2019 during a dawn search warrant at a property in Albion Terrace, Gravesend, after evidence from drug dealers' mobile phones consistently showed him to be the one arranging the supply.
Officers also found his network had used a 12-year-old boy to act as a dealer.
Adrian Bodzioch and Deividas Sakalauskas, who were sentenced alongside Oni, acted as runners who transported the drugs from London to north Kent.
Sakalauskas was first arrested in February 2019 after police stopped a white Skoda Octavia in Gravesend. He was found in possession of a burner phone and a small quantity of crack cocaine but, due to the need to forensically examine the evidence, was released from custody under investigation.
He was arrested a second time in June. On this occasion he was travelling in a black Mercedes which had heroin and crack cocaine hidden in its centre console.
Bodzioch was first arrested in September 2019 after he was seen driving a white Audi, registered in Oni's name, on the A2 near Gravesend.
Messages on a phone seized showed he was in regular contact with Oni, and a search of his home also led to the seizure of a small canister which was capable of discharging noxious substances.
All three were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court.
Oni, 31, of Marina Drive in Northfleet, denied conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine but was found guilty of both offences following a trial. He was sentenced to 11 years and 9 months’ imprisonment.
Bodzioch, 22, of Northcote Road in Northfleet, admitted conspiring to supply crack cocaine and possessing a weapon designed to discharge a noxious liquid. He was sentenced to four years and 10 months’ imprisonment.
"He was so lacking in morals that his network groomed a 12-year-old boy..."
Sakalauskas, 20, also of Northcote Road, admitted possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. He was sentenced to three years and eight months’ imprisonment.
DS Andy Leventis, Kent Police senior investigating officer for the case, said: "These three men's efforts to supply Class A drugs have caused widespread misery and it is entirely appropriate that they have been imprisoned.
"Oni in particular has shown himself to be a remorseless offender who is willing to manipulate vulnerable people into supplying Class A drugs. Indeed, he was so lacking in morals that his network groomed a 12-year-old boy into supplying drugs on his behalf.
"All three considered themselves to have a well organised and sophisticated pattern of offending but have been brought to justice thanks to the expertise of our officers.
"Whether it be patrols on the ground acting on suspicious activity, or specialised detectives painstakingly assembling small pieces of evidence, the public can be assured that we are well resourced to target drug dealers coming into our communities.
"Anyone who has ambitions to travel to Kent to supply drugs can expect to be in receipt of the same fate."
Five other men linked to the supply network were previously jailed in 2019 and 2020. They received sentences totalling more than 17 years.