Basildon - Bush Boys drug gang sentenced

Drugs gang ran 'sophisticated business operation'


Members of a drugs gang known as the "Bush Boys" were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court today for what CPS East of England Senior District Crown Prosecutor Punam Malhan described as "a sophisticated business operation".

Ms Malhan said: "The dismantling of this gang was the result of a year-long police operation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

"In particular, one undercover police officer put his life on the line when he was forced to jump out of a window to save himself after the gang discovered his true identity.

"This officer gave compelling evidence in court of the gang's activities and we would like to pay tribute to his bravery."

The court was told that the gang, originally from London, based themselves in Basildon where they were unknown, with the purpose of exploiting a new market and selling drugs for more money than they could make in London.

Ms Malhan said: "These men did not hang around on street corners hoping to make a drug sale. They set about establishing a sophisticated business operation to make a lot of money.

"Gang members preyed on vulnerable drug users and took over their homes to avoid detection. Once they had set themselves up and given the home owners drugs for allowing them to use the premises, the home owners could not get them out of their houses because they were too frightened of the consequences.

"Not only were these houses used for storing and dealing drugs, the gang also had a number of mobile phone hotlines where customers would dial the number, place their order and arrange delivery.

"These are not crimes that just involve drug dealers and users. Members of the public not only suffer the effects of having a drug den in their locality, but also the threats, violence, burglaries and robberies which go with it."

Ten people were convicted of offences including conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine; robbery; grievous bodily harm and money laundering. They are: Mohamed Hassan; Thomas Symons, Perry Bohm; Aisha Aden; Kyle Larmond; Ross Bannister; John Newton; Joshua Porter; Sunny Dosanjh; and a 17 year old youth.