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Dealer got involved in drugs ‘because of threat to burn his family alive’

PUBLISHED: 08:36 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:36 01 April 2020

Arhagie Wadda. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Arhagie Wadda. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Archant

A dealer claimed he got involved in county lines to pay off a debt to a man who threatened to kill him and “burn his family alive”, a court has heard.

Baboucar Bah. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.Baboucar Bah. PIC: Norfolk Constabulary.

Arhagie Waada, 22, became involved in a drugs dealing conspiracy in Norwich after being sent to the city to pay off a debt.

Norwich Crown Court heard he had been told he would be killed and his family would be burned alive unless he worked off the debt.

Benedict Peers, prosecuting, said Waada and Baboucarr Bah, also 22, were at an address at Shorncliffe Close in Norwich, which was raided by police who found Waada “trying to throw a bag of wraps out of the window”.

Mr Peers said after his arrest on June 21 last year Waada told officers “I was sent here”.

The bag, which contained 40 wraps of crack cocaine as well as roll ups containing heroin, was seized by police who also found mobile phones, containing drug dealing messages, as well as more drugs in the bathroom and in the toilet.

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Both were arrested and interviewed. Baa gave no comment. Waada said he became involved after being sent to Norwich to pay off a debt to a man who threatened to kill him and burn his family if he did not pay off his debt.

The pair were released under investigation but were arrested again following another raid at an address at Peterson Road in Norwich on July 18 last year when a bag containing £1000 separated in £100 notes as well as small deal bags of cannabis.

Bah has since admitted being concerned in supply of heroin, cocaine and cannabis, possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to supply as well as possession of cannabis and another count of being concerned in supply of cannabis.

Wadda admitted possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of cannabis between the same dates.

Judge Anthony Bate, who carried out the sentencing hearing over Skype, said the offences were committed in the context of county lines drug dealing adding that a “clear and consistent message from these courts must go out and that message will continue”.’

Bah, from Birmingham, was jailed for 30 months and Waada, from Bletchley, Milton Keynes, was sentenced to a total of 22 months.

Danielle O’Donovan, for Bah, said his offending occurred against the backdrop of a mental health condition adding that he was vulnerable and had, to some degree, been exploited.

Isobel Ascherson, for Waada, said he had been involved under duress after threats had been made to his family.


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