Drug dealers from Chadwell Heath and Seven Kings jailed for 12 months for selling Spice in Westminster
PUBLISHED: 11:44 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 09 August 2017
Two drug dealers in their 40s from Chadwell Heath and Seven Kings will spend a year behind bars for selling cannabis substitute Spice to homeless people in Westminster.
Ramzi Barkat, 45, of Third Avenue, Chadwell Heath, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to six counts of conspiracy to supply spice.
And 40-year-old Miguel Chaves, of St Albans Road, Seven Kings, received the same sentence after pleading guilty to four similar counts.
Both men were also handed five-year Community Behaviour Orders banning them from a designated area of Westminster, where the gang had set up a wide-ranging spice distribution network.
The pair were part of a gang of seven men and one woman who were involved in the supply of the drug and were arrested following Operation Spatha, which was launched in March.
Both were sentenced on July 26 at Southwark Crown Court.
Chf Supt Peter Ayling, Westminster Borough Commander, said: “In January, after three deaths, including one murder, directly related to the psychoactive substance commonly known as ‘Spice’, Westminster’s Crime Squad began a detailed Operation in conjunction with specialist officers and the Local Neighbourhood Team.
“Spice wreaks havoc on users and causes great concern within the community.
“The substance has become prevalent within the homeless community where dealers prey on some of the most vulnerable within our society. Officers felt passionately about tackling the dealing of spice.”
“The operation was hugely successful, the conviction of nine dealers and the sentences handed down reflects the seriousness of the offence and the commitment of officers in Westminster to protect the community.
“Spice is a vile substance that robs the user of all awareness and dignity and is highly addictive.
“The tactic utilised was the first of its kind be used nationally and we remain committed to protecting the vulnerable from this drug and those that would place the users and wider community in harm’s way.”
Altogether the gang were sentenced to more than seven and a half years in prison and handed 35 years’ worth of Community Behaviour Orders.
Two further defendants have also pleaded guilty to supplying Class B drugs and are due to be sentenced later this month.