Streatham dealers who exploited teen drug runner jailed

Two “parasitic” dealers from south London who exploited a 14-year-old, using him as a county lines drug runner, have been jailed.

Kieran Appiah, 21, and Muhammed Khan-Brown, 19, both from Streatham, came under suspicion after police officers seized 38 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, along with a phone, from the boy in Gillingham. 

A review of data on the seized handset showed the pair were using him as a runner on their behalf.

Both men were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on November 30 and will serve more than five years between them.

A proactive patrol stopped the 14-year-old on Livingstone Road on May 26, 2020.

The 38 wraps seized were ready for sale on the streets, while the mobile phone showed he had received 142 calls directing him to supply drugs.

Enforcement action was not taken against the boy, as it was clear that he was being exploited by organised criminals.

Instead, officers worked with partner agencies to ensure he was supported and safeguarded from further harm.

Kent Police’s county lines and gangs team continued to scrutinise the call data, which gave officers a picture of Appiah and Khan-Brown’s movements.

Appiah was arrested after officers visited a Gillingham home on July 28, 2020.

The address belonged to a vulnerable adult, but was being used by the offenders as a base to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Appiah attempted to run from the scene but was detained and taken into custody. His personal phone number was also found to have sent several communications to the teenager.

Khan-Brown was arrested at his home address the following morning by the Metropolitan Police.

Upon noticing the officers, he jumped out of a window and attempted to climb over the fence but was stopped from doing so by a constable.

A search of his address led to quantities of heroin and crack cocaine being located, alongside paraphernalia used to supply drugs.

While in custody, both men were charged for their roles in offending and remanded in custody ahead of a court hearing.

Appiah, 21, of Mount Nod Road, Streatham, admitted conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine and two counts of robbery. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

The robbery took place in Hillyfields Park, Gillingham, on 5 October 2019 and led to a bike and a coat being stolen from different teenage boys.

Khan-Brown, 19, of Sulina Road, Streatham, admitted conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine, possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property, namely cash obtained from drug dealing. He was sentenced to a total of three years.

Detective Constable Mark Donovan, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: “These two offenders have shown they have no qualms about exploiting vulnerable people to make money.

“Their offending was parasitic but thankfully the actions of our vigilant officers on the street helped us identify them and ensure that those being used were protected from further harm.

“We will never stop patrolling the streets and looking for signs of drug dealing. When we come across evidence of offending, we will always use the full remit of our powers to put an offender before the court and ensure they face justice.”

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