County lines drug dealer jailed for more than seven years

Joseph Small

Joseph Small ran the Ace county line with his brother, Piers. - Credit: Herts police

A drug dealer who operated a county lines operation supplying Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield has been jailed for more than seven years.

Joseph Small, of Derby Way, Enfield, pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court to two offences of conspiring with others to supply Class A drugs, while also admitted possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

The 26-year-old, who was part of a conspiracy with his brother Piers to operate the Ace county line, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half-years.

The Ace line was a mobile phone number that, for a six-month period between April and October in 2019, suppling an estimated £128,000, or 1.2 kilos, of heroin and crack cocaine to drug users during that time.

The court was told the line operated by sending out bulk messages to drug users advertising the drugs that were for sale. Orders were taken and runners used to deliver the drugs.

Police moved to shut the Ace line down and an address was raided by officers from where it was being operated, with Small and his brother being arrested and expensive clothing and jewellery, along with £2,000 in cash and drugs worth between £11,000 and £12,000 seized.

Piers Small, 24, was jailed for an identical period at the same court in October of this year after he admitted his part in the conspiracy and well as other offences.

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Judge Michael Kay QC, hearing the case, was told that having been granted bail, Joseph Small was again arrested for dealing in Class A drugs in 2020.

Passing sentence, Judge Kay told Small he had chosen to make money from the ‘enormous amount of misery’ caused to the addicts he supplied drugs to.

Detective Inspector Adam Bridges, from the Welwyn Hatfield Local Crime Unit, said: “I hope that Small spends his time behind bars reflecting on his actions and the impact they had.

"Drugs cause misery not just to the users but to the wider community and we simply will not tolerate this in Welwyn Hatfield.

"I hope that residents feel reassured that he is now in prison and I would like to remind the public that if they have information about drug activity, they should call the non-emergency number 101.

"Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.”

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