News first broke of Brighton’s darker underbelly in March last year where the Argus reported around £600,000 worth of narcotics had been seized and 16 had been arrested as part of drug cartel which had been smashed by the city’s top detectives.
Sussex Police finally released details of the sentences of the perpetrators yesterday after trials commenced on 24th June at Lewes Crown Court. Six have been sentenced already with a seventh received a suspended sentence – a combined total of nearly 30 years in prison.
The bust comes courtesy of Brighton Police’s Organised Crime Investigation Team who say the conspiracy involved the circulation of heroin and crack cocaine. The conspirators hailed predominantly from North London, as did the base of operations, however they did possess numerous different addresses. For instance, one of the men, Remy Douieb lived on Stanford Avenue in Hassocks and was himself sentenced to six years. Douieb, 22, is thought to have been the ringleader and chief conspirator, orchestrating deals via the use of several phones and direct runners who would supply heroin and cocaine to users. The money gained by these means would then be wired into accounts under his name or the name of the group.
Douieb has plenty of previous with police after being jailed for an attack on a woman in Reading who was seven months pregnant. According to Judge Shani Barnes, during the attack Douieb told the woman that he was “a man with no morals”, underlining his credentials as an individual not fit for society.
His right hand man, Damian George, was the second youngest of the conspirators to be sentenced at just 20 years of age. This did not stop him from wielding a large hunting knife or a black imitation hand gun during his resupply operations to the drug runners.
These arrests and subsequent sentences came as a result of Sussex Police’s Operation Cooden, a drive on drugs busts which ran between June and December last year following the initially reported arrests in March of that year. This particular group which involved the seven arrests was known as ‘Ricky‘, and was accused of resulting in the deaths of two residents from in and around the Brighton and Hove area.
Hopefully the sentencing of these individuals will act as a major deterrent to those who wish to continue the mass distribution of these drugs and also cut down on the effects of widespread drug use across the city. Moreover, the length sentences will hopefully provide a modicum of relief to the grieving families who were affected by the reckless and shameful actions of the Ricky conspiracy.
Feature image from: IT ProPortal