‘Ruthless, callous’ drug gang leader who exploited young people is jailed

Ishmael Islam, who has been jailed following a drug raid in Colchester Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Ishmael Islam, who has been jailed following a drug raid in Colchester Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant

A drug gang leader has been jailed after a police raid uncovered evidence that he had been exploiting young people to courier illegal packages.

The raid at the home in Colchester also found photos of 25-year-old Ishmael Islam next to piles of cash and Class A drugs, as well as a video on a mobile phone of him talking about recruiting “runners” - used by dealers to deliver drugs and cash.

Basildon Crown Court heard Islam, of HMP Wormwood Scrubs, was running a line known as “Trill” and would commonly exploit young people to run his drugs.

He had been repeatedly seen coming in and out of a home in Mersea Road, Colchester - known to be used by drug dealers - ahead of a raid by Essex Police’s North Operation Raptor team.

Inside the property, officers found associates of Islam’s crack cocaine, as well as Islam’s mobile phone.

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A forensic search of the phone found videos showing men and women wrapping and preparing Class A drugs, as well as photos of Islam next to piles of cash and Class A drugs.

Islam was arrested two days later and charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

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He admitted the charges when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court.

He has now been jailed for two years and nine months.

Following the sentencing, investigating officer PC Esther Talbot - of the Essex Police North Operation Raptor team - said: “Islam was nothing but a ruthless, callous criminal prepared to exploit anyone, including young people and those with drug dependencies, to ply his illegal trade.

“Dealers like him need to remember that as long as they attempt to sell drugs on our streets, Operation Raptor will continue to hunt them down, leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to put them behind bars.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the north, south and west of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime.

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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