Officers spot drug deal on lunch break – and bring down County Line

We brought down a County Lines drug supplier after two of our officers stumbled across a street-side deal while on their lunch break.

The city centre officers were near Tesco Express in Constitutional Hill, Birmingham, on 5 February when they spotted two known drug users approach a parked car.

The driver sped off but we detained the two men and found they’d received text messages advertising crack cocaine and heroin for sale.

Some of the drugs sales messages sent by Nabeel
Some of the drugs sales messages sent by Nabeel

Enquiries by the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime (ROCU) County Lines Taskforce led us to identify Mohammed Nabeel as the sender.

And when we carried out a search warrant at his flat in Mint Drive, Hockley, on 9 March officers found the drugs hotline plus £2,000 in drugs, £10,000 cash and a kilo of cutting agent in Nabeel’s car.

Analysis of call data on his phone showed between 29 November 2020 and 9 March 2021 he’d sent more than 5,000 bulk SMS text messages advertising drugs for sale and received almost 6,000 messages, many drugs orders.

We also found a video on his phone showing the 25-year-old laughing and joking as he prepared drug wraps in his kitchen.

Still images from a video Nabeel took of himself while cutting drugs and preparing wraps
Still images from a video Nabeel took of himself while cutting drugs and preparing wraps

Today (24 Nov) Nabeel was jailed for four years and eight months at Birmingham Crown Court having admitted possessing drugs with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.  

ROCU Detective Constable Thomas Reece said: “It was a chance encounter by two officers on their lunch break that led to us uncovering a significant drugs supply line. It just goes to show that police officers are never off duty!

“In just over three months we estimated Nabeel supplied around 1kg of Class A drugs to his customer base; we found around 120 contacts on his drugs phone. The identified drug users were sent messages in order to divert them away from drug misuse.

He's been jailed for four years and eight months
He's been jailed for four years and eight months

“Drug trafficking is a priority for us because it often involves the exploitation of children and vulnerable people, plus is linked to serious violence between drug gangs and acquisitive crime committed by users to fuel their addictions. 

“Anyone who thinks getting involved in drugs supply is an easy way of making big money needs to think again. We are continually targeting these dealers…and there’s a strong chance they will end up behind bars.”

If you suspect someone is involved in drugs supply then please let us know so we can take action.

Call us on 101, message via Live Chat on our website or call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
 

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