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18 jailed after police operation ‘shuts down’ SE1 drug dealers

18 men have been sentenced to a total of 38 years after pleading guilty to drug offences following a police operation to target gangs supplying class A drugs in SE1.

The Met says that 'Operation Penlan' – which was carried out between August and November last year – targeted gangs that officers believed were involved in the supply of class A drugs in Southwark, particularly in SE1.

Three separate drug-dealing set-ups were identified and taken out of action.

The three ringleaders were identified as Donross Richards, 19, from Chancel Street, charged with 13 counts of supplying heroin and crack cocaine in Windmill Walk; Edgar Apedu, 26, from South Norwood, charged with 14 counts of supplying heroin and crack cocaine around SE1 and Zacher Clotworthy, 19, from Camberwell, charged with 4 counts of supplying heroin and crack at various locations around the SE1 area.

They were sentenced to eight, five and three and a half years respectively.

15 other men aged between 15 and 39 were also sentenced to a total of 21 and a half years between them.

The last sentence in the case was handed out by the Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday 12 May.

All were arrested in November last year after concerns about drug dealing in the area were brought to the attention of police. The drugs and firearms team worked on collecting evidence and building a case against those concerned.

"This result is due to the hard work and thorough investigation carried out by the drugs and firearms team in Southwark, which presented such a strong case that all 18 suspects pleaded guilty at court," says Detective Superintendent Ian Smith.

"Operation Penlan caused such disruption to local drug dealers that it effectively shut down the supply of drugs around the SE1 area, and for a period after these arrests made heroin and crack very hard to come by across the borough.

"Police in Southwark and the drugs and firearms team will continue to disrupt criminal networks and bring drug dealers and their gangs to justice to prevent the misery they cause to communities across Southwark."

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