Couple sentenced for their part in drug gang

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A couple from South Ockendon have been sentenced after pleading guilty for their part in a so called ‘county line’ drug dealing gang.

Officers from the West Operation Raptor team raided the home of Harley Burness-Crouch, 27, and Daniel Fleming, 28, in Mayflower Close, South Ockendon on two separate occasions.

The raid came following information that the pair were part of the drug dealing line known as “Rico”.

During the first warrant, attended by the West Op Raptor Team and Thurrock’s Community Policing Team on June 7, 2018, officers found eight mobile phones, a can of CS gas and large quantities of cannabis and cocaine.

Over a kilogram of cannabis, with an estimated street value of £12,070, was seized from the property.

Officers also recovered 17.6g of cocaine, worth over £1,700.

Two large hunting knives were found next to the couple’s bed and over £26,000 in cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Both were then released under investigation until a second warrant was executed on December 12, 2018.

During that warrant a further four mobile phones were found, as well as a cocaine worth hundreds of pounds and over 110g of cannabis, valued at over £1,000.

Burness-Crouch pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis, one count of possession of a weapon for the discharge of a noxious liquid and one count of acquiring criminal property.

She was given a jail term of two years eight months which the judge deferred for six months to enable her to turn her life around.

Fleming pleaded guilty of two counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine, two counts of possession with intent to supply cannabis and one count of acquiring criminal property.

He was jailed for five years three months.

Following the sentencing Sgt Scott Fitzmaurice of the West Operation Raptor team said: “Fleming and Burness-Crouch were key members of the Rico gang.

“This was evidenced by the amount of cocaine, cannabis, weapons and mobile phones found at their home.

“Thankfully we raided their property twice and seized the drugs before they were able to reach the streets.

“We will continue to hunt down those involved in drug and gang-related crime and turn up at their front door when they least expect it.”

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 alternatively Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill out their online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org Fleming and Burness-Courch were sentenced on Wednesday April 3.

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