Six-year prison sentence for drug dealer who used Bishop's Stortford house for county lines operation
A drug dealer who controlled a county line into Bishop's Stortford has been sentenced to a six-year prison term.
Londoner Darrell Skeete, 22, operated the LD line and arranged for runners to supply cocaine and heroin to users in East Herts.
Prosecutor John Waller told St Albans Crown Court that Skeete, who was known as Sam, sent couriers from East Ham in Newham, east London, to a house in Bishop's Stortford where they were held.
He was identified as the line's controller through an undercover police operation which established he was sending out regular drug marketing messages from three mobile phones and was directing drug runners.
Skeete, of Patrick Road, East Ham, appeared for sentencing last Friday (May 13) having pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to supply class A drugs between October 21 last year and February 23 this year.
He tested negative for drugs on his arrest and gave a "no comment" interview when questioned.
Defending, Andrew Corcut said: "He has a qualification as an electrician but could not take it forward because of the Covid emergency."
He said that Skeete's family had been under severe financial pressure, turning to food banks and charities.
"The defendant was not working and he sought the assistance of others. Some were involved in the drug world," said Mr Corcut.
"He was loaned money and he became involved in this conspiracy. He is deeply remorseful."
Jailing him, Judge Richard Foster said: "You are intelligent and, I am told, well educated. This is not a typical profile of a drug dealer.
"You knew full well what you were doing. It was purely a commercial decision to make money. That is no excuse. Many people have fallen on hard times, but they do not turn to drug dealing."