Jail for drugs dealer who worked for Albanian 'overlords'

Rodney Addo

Rodney Addo was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court after supplying drugs for Albanian 'overlords' - Credit: Essex Police

A security guard who ran a drugs line selling crack cocaine and heroin in Colchester after losing his income during the Covid pandemic has been jailed for six years.

Rodney Addo, 41, ran the "Shanks" line and sent thousands of marketing messages to drug users offering deals on crack cocaine and heroin, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

When a police officer was reviewing the phone of a class A drug user, he came across two incoming messages advertising drugs for sale, said Mitchell Cohen, prosecuting. 

The number was active from July 2020, and when phone records were analysed, it was revealed 7,295 messages had been sent over 11 months. 

Police linked that number to Addo and CCTV footage showed him regularly topping up the phone at a shop near his home in London between August 2020 and July 2021, said Mr Cohen.

Addo's personal phone was also co-located with the drugs phone on a number of occasions, the court heard. 

Police arrested Addo on September 14, 2021, and a search of his home was undertaken along with another address. 

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Officers seized £3,000 in cash, a Nokia phone and a small amount of cannabis, which he pleaded guilty to possessing at the magistrates' court, the court heard. 

 "He was dealing over a considerable period of time, with thousands of messages sent to 160 customers offering crack cocaine and heroin for sale,” said Mr Cohen.

He said that following his arrest Addo gave a “no comment” police interview.

Addo, who has 35 previous convictions including three for being involved in the supply of class A drugs which means he is liable to a minimum sentence of seven years less credit for a guilty plea.

Addo, of Digby Road, London, pleaded guilty to two offences of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. 

David Langwallner, mitigating, said Addo lost his source of income when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and had “gone off the rails“ and got into debt.

He said Addo "relapsed into a life of crime", and was "doing the bidding of Albanian overlords". 

“He is very ashamed,” he added.