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Drug dealing trio avoid jail despite pleading guilty to county lines scheme peddling crack cocaine in Chigwell and Hainault

PUBLISHED: 10:21 22 January 2019

Chelmsford Crown Court Picture: Google Maps

Chelmsford Crown Court Picture: Google Maps

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A trio of drug dealers who admitted peddling thousands of pounds of Class A drugs in Chigwell and Hainault will not go to prison after all being handed suspended sentences.

The three dealers, who are members of county line gangs supplying Class A drugs across Redbridge and Epping Forest, were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court court yesterday (Monday, January 21).

The court heard how, following a six-month investigation into a total of five drug dealing gangs, Essex Police’s West Operation Raptor team carried out a series of early morning raids in November last year.

Those targeted were alleged to have been involved in the supply of Class A drugs in Debden, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Limes Farm and Hainault.

The gangs are believed to have made up to £3,000 per day from the sale of illegal substances.

The court heard that Glen O’Brien, 48 and 48-year-old Barry Gilbody were part of the drug dealing line, known as “Omar”.

Evidence gathered during the six-month investigation revealed that both men had been actively involved in the supply of crack cocaine in Loughton.

O’Brien of The Plain, Epping and Gilbody of Paley Gardens, Loughton, both admitted a charge of supplying a Class A drug.

They were both given a two-year jail term suspended for two years.

Appearing alongside the pair in the dock was 32-year-old Robert White of New North Road, Hainault.

The court heard White was also involved in the supply of crack cocaine in the Limes Farm area of Chigwell.

He also admitted a charge of supplying a Class A drug and was given a two-year jail term suspended for two-years.

Following the sentencing Det Sgt James Paget of the West Operation Raptor team said: “Every day Operation Raptor are out on the streets of Essex hunting down those people intent on dealing drugs on our streets.

“Whether it takes us days or months to gather the evidence needed to put these people behind bars, then that is what we will do.

“We will relentlessly pursue those ruthless criminals as they are not welcome in our county.”

Acting on information from the community, Essex Police launched an investigation in May 2018 targeting so-called county line drug dealing gangs in Debden, Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Limes Farm and Hainault.

Supported by Epping Forest District Council, who also provided £5,000 towards the cost of the policing operation, Essex Police began investigating the gangs and building a picture on key members.

The six-month probe culminated with the execution of 19 warrants and 24 arrests in November 2018.

The operation was jointly led by Essex Police’s West local policing teams and Operation Raptor.

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the North, South and West of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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