Clacton-based Jay Boys London drugs gang shut down after members convicted

Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Lucy taylor

A London drugs gang who took over addicts’ houses across Clacton to ply their trade have been convicted following a three-year investigation by Essex Police.

The Jay Boys ran a so-called county drugs line into the Essex seaside town, supplying heroin and crack cocaine over the three years.

Using a practice called “cuckooing”, they used violence and intimidation to take over the houses of vulnerable addicts and used them as drug dealing bases.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the gang would make on average £2-3,000 a day supplying drugs.

Essex Police’s North Operation Raptor team spent years tracking the team and compiling evidence, before raiding the Hadleigh Road home of Steven Root in Clacton on February 1 last year.

Essex Police crackdown on drugs trade during OctoberDrug addict Root, 45, had allowed his flat to be used by the gang. Inside officers found cash, drug dealing paraphernalia and a series of incriminating text messages on his phone, which not only linked him to the gang but showed he was acting as a runner for them.

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Root, and the rest of the gang, were all arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Alongside Root in the dock were:

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• Ring-leader Courtney Kirby-Diamond, 25, of Wellington Way, East London.

• Tunji Owati, 26, of Park View Road, North London.

• Alfie Lawrence-Summers, 19, of Chatsworth Road, East London.

• Baron Or, 27, of Broad Lane, North London.

• Troy Henderson-Ryan, 19, of Alfearn Road, East London.

• Tommy Burnett, 21 of Trinity Close, East London.

All seven pleaded not guilty to all charges, but were convicted by a jury today following a six-week trial.

An eighth man, Shaheur Rahman, 25, of Bentham Road, East London, admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.

During the trial a former member of the Jay Boys gang gave evidence against them. He told the court he was recruited on Facebook and was paid £100 a day to deliver crack and heroin.

After the verdict, Pc James Pamment of the North Operation Raptor team, said: “Our investigation into the Jay Boys was painstaking and it took three years of hard work to put them before the courts.

“But we have today been successful in removing an entire county line from the streets of Essex.

“The London gang preyed on those reliant on drugs, they used violence to take over their homes as a base to flood the streets of Clacton with heroin and crack.

“They also preyed on the vulnerability of addicts to make money from their drug dependency.

“But what they didn’t bank on was the fact that we were always on their tail, watching their every move and compiling the evidence which has led the jury to reach these verdicts.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Wells, Essex Police’s lead for Operation Raptor, added: “I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of Pc Pamment who worked tirelessly to gather the compelling evidence that secured this conviction.

“People may believe the gang lifestyle is an attractive, lucrative one – rest assured it isn’t.

“Gangs like the Jay Boys prey on the vulnerable in our community, exploiting them in their quest to sell drugs and make money.

“It’s not a glamorous life – gangs will often be the perpetrators or victims of violence involving their customers and their rivals. They will have no loyalty to you and discard you once you are no longer of use.

“Essex Police continues to step up its fight on those involved in drugs and gang crime.

“For every drug dealer that comes to Essex intent on committing crime, Operation Raptor will be waiting for them and it is only a matter of time before they too will find themselves in the dock.”

All eight men have been remanded in custody and will reappear at the court at a later date for sentence.

If you have information about drug or gang-related crime in your community, contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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