Man arranged for teens to deal drugs in Norfolk as part of conspiracy
PUBLISHED: 19:44 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 19:44 10 July 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
A man who arranged for two teenagers to deal drugs on the streets of Great Yarmouth has become the first to be convicted for County Lines drug dealing in Norfolk under modern slavery laws.
Nathan Hamilton, 29, pleaded guilty to arranging the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, along with two counts of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin, at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday (July 10).
Hamilton, of Mulberry Street, London, appeared in court alongside Shaun Ellis, 26, who pleaded guilty to conspiring crack cocaine and heroin.
The court heard how Ellis was responsible for running the 'Chase' dealer line, supplying crack cocaine and heroin in Great Yarmouth, whilst serving a custodial sentence in HMP Wayland for other matters.
Ellis had been calling Hamilton, who had a managerial role in the conspiracy, from prison on a daily basis to ensure the operation was uninterrupted.
Officers from Great Yarmouth tracked Ellis to the top of the County Line following the arrest of Hamilton in Great Yarmouth on October 11 last year.
Officers stopped a VW Polo on Fullers Hill and the driver was identified as Hamilton and his passenger was 27-year-old Blaire Carpenter-Angol from London.
Police seized mobile phones and arrested both the men on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs into Great Yarmouth.
Whilst in police custody officers grew suspicious that Carpenter-Angol was secreting drugs within his bowel and he was taken to the James Paget Hospital where two packages, containing almost 600 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were recovered.
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Carpenter-Angol was later charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Further investigations revealed that Hamilton had been driving two boys, aged 15 and 16, to and from London and Great Yarmouth to deal Class A drugs in September and October 2018.
Officers identified the boys and found them to be immature and vulnerable and both have since been identified as victims of modern slavery.
Hamilton and Ellis, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty during their trial and are due to be sentenced on September 16.
Police will use 'full force of the law' to catch Class A drugs offenders
Police chiefs insist that the conviction of Hamilton "sends a clear message" the force will utilise all legislation available to stop County Lines drug dealing.
Chief Superintendent Dave Marshall said: "This is the first conviction of its kind in Norfolk and East Anglia as a whole. The use of modern slavery legislation is an important aspect of targeting those criminal networks who exploit vulnerable children and adults within communities for their own financial gain. Today's conviction sends a clear message that we will utilise all legislation available to us nationally to stop County Lines drug dealing and pursue offenders under Operation Gravity."
Sergeant Tony Hogan said the pleas from Hamilton and Ellis were the culmination of a 12 month investigation and insisted officers not only remain committed to targeting those who supply drugs but also to using the full force of the law available to us to stop them.