Trio jailed for 23 years following large seizure of drugs worth half a million pounds
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Three members of an organised crime group (OCG) have been jailed for a total of 23 years after drugs worth £500,000 were seized following a series of warrants by the City of London Police.
Officers conducted searches at six address in Essex and East London on Thursday 3 December 2020 as part of a crackdown on drug-related offences. Officers recovered an estimated £500,000 worth of drugs, as well as items commonly used to aid in the preparation and distribution of drugs, including a drugs press.
The group were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Friday 12 November 2021:
Wesley Candida, 30, of The Hawthorns, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for three counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of criminal property;
Vanessa Candida, 29, of The Hawthorns, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8, was jailed for six years for three counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of criminal property;
Wanderson Rocha Dos Santos, 31, of Stayners Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for three counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
Wanderson Rocha Dos Santos previously pleaded guilty at a hearing on Monday 4 January 2021 and Wesley Candida pleaded guilty to the charges on Thursday 22 April 2021. Vanessa Candida was found guilty by a jury on Monday 11 October 2021 after a three week trial.
Detective Inspector Anne Medlycott, from the City of London Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit, said:
“The sentence passed down today sends a strong message: drugs and organised crime has no place in the City of London. Not only have we been able to disrupt this OCG and their operation, we have also been able to take a large quantity of drugs of the streets to continue to make the City of London a safe place.”
The OCG were distributing a variety of drugs in large amounts, in particular, chemsex drugs. Chemsex is a term used to describe sex under the influence of psychoactive drugs (particularly mephedrone, GHB, GBL and crystal meth) and are especially dangerous as they can be easily overdosed on.
Various items of food delivery-style clothing and paraphernalia were also recovered during the warrants, suggesting that the OCG may have been utilising moped deliveries to reduce suspicion and avoid detection. Officers also seized roughly £30,000 in cash and another £50,000 worth of assets.