A Maidstone drug dealer caught on CCTV making top ups to a phone used to run a county line has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Between May and July 2020, Jordan Gayle operated a burner style mobile phone to advertise the sale of heroin and crack cocaine in the town.
During this period officers from the County Line and Gang Team had been investigating a drugs supply chain into Maidstone, when on 8 July they visited a convenience store in Milton Street.
They viewed CCTV footage which showed repeated visits by the same customer to purchase pay-as-you-go top up vouchers, and which were linked to a phone line used to contact local drug users and make deals.
Gayle was identified as the suspect and arrested the next day. He was taken to a nearby property where he had been living in Charlton Street, where a search took place.
A package was recovered from his clothing containing almost 90 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine. Gayle was also carrying £220 in cash and another £2,000 was found hidden on top of a cupboard.
Two phones were seized, one of which contained a sim card which had been used with the top up vouchers. A forensic examination of the device revealed marketing text messages had been sent advertising drugs.
Gayle denied any wrongdoing and claimed any money recovered was from benefit payments and savings. He also accused police officers of ‘planting drugs’ on him.
The 21-year-old was charged with two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply. He was further charged with possessing criminal property, namely the cash seized.
Detective Sergeant John Moore of the County Line and Gang Team, said: ‘Gayle had been controlling a county line over a number of weeks and had several established links to gangs across police databases.
‘As with many criminals involved in the supply of drugs, he also has a history of violent offences and during his arrest caused injuries to a number of our officers.
‘Those associated with gangs think nothing of the violence and misery they bring to our communities, however I would like to reassure residents that we are continuing to robustly target and disrupt their activities.
‘Together with our partners and with help from local communities, the work we are doing is making it much harder for them to establish a foothold.’