Six convicted in 'county lines' conspiracy involving trafficking of 15-year-old schoolboy
Six men have been convicted for their parts in a 'county lines' modern slavery operation that saw a north London schoolboy trafficked for use as a drugs runner.
County lines cases involve phone numbers known as lines which are used by drugs users in a county to order drugs that are then delivered and sold to them usually by young runners.
The group were involved in two drugs lines, dubbed Gino and Gino 2, which sold cocaine and heroin across London and South Wales between 23 January and 1 October 2020.
An investigation into the county lines was only sparked after a missing person’s report was filed in Tottenham in relation to the missing 15-year-old schoolboy. He was later found after more than two weeks at an address in Swansea, having been recruited as a courier by the group.
On Tuesday, 22 June following the conclusion of a trial at Kingston Crown Court:
- Basky Capitao, 27, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit
- Harry King, 20, was found guilty of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit
- Jemy Capitao, 28, brother of co-defendant Basky Capitao, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possessing criminal property at an earlier hearing. Part-way through the trial he also admitted one count of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit
- Harvey Kimpton, 21, pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possessing a prohibited firearm, as well as two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply
- Kenneth Langrish, 36, pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and one count of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit. He had previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs
- Ayyub Elaouzi, 22, pleaded guilty on the day of the trial to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and one count of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploit.
Text messages uncovered on the teenage victim’s phone revealed the extent of the county lines operation and many of the players involved. It also revealed the treatment of the youngster who had sent a message to his traffickers while out delivering drugs saying: “I’m broke bro I haven’t eaten since yesterday.”
As the police investigation into the missing teenager continued, Elaouzi was arrested on 16 September. The Gino line was active just five minutes before he was arrested and then ceased to continue.
The next day Jemy Capitao bought two mobile phone top up vouchers from a newsagent in Swansea and bulk messages were sent out from the Gino 2 line. One message read: “The real Gino is back on bang bang.”
But a number of the defendants became worried about being caught out after finding out that the young victim had been found by police in Swansea on 25 September 2020.
Jemy Capitao went on the run with his girlfriend and stayed at a hotel in Milton Keynes where they were found in bed together on 1 October last year. Also in the hotel room officers found £2,910 in cash which was wedged into the handle of a kettle.
Langrish, who drove the young victim to Swindon for the first leg of his journey, was arrested on 6 October. He was found to have 125 packages of crack cocaine hidden under his scrotum.
Kimpton was arrested outside his home after a Gucci box containing a 22-calibre pistol was found at his address in Harlow.
Thea Viney, from the CPS, said: “These drug dealers worked hand in hand and trafficked a vulnerable teenager from London to Wales.
“They intended to exploit him as a drugs runner and had no consideration for his welfare as was evident from the poor condition of the address he was found at. To this day the young victim has never supplied a statement to support the investigation which, unfortunately, is a common feature of cases of this nature.
“The prosecution was able to present evidence of the close association between these defendants through clear phone analysis despite the use of Nokia burner phones. Some of this included incriminating messages found on the phones.
“We were also able to show the jury that, while Jemy Capitao and his girlfriend enjoyed a summer holiday in Dubai, his younger brother Basky Capitao took complete charge of the drugs line sending out numerous adverts for Class A drugs to punters.
“The CPS recognises the harm caused to communities by drug networks using children and young people to carry out their illegal county line operations. We will always seek to prosecute such offenders where there is the evidence to do so and hope that this prosecution has resulted in taking more illegal drugs and associated enterprises off our streets.”
The defendants will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, 30 July 2021.
Notes to editors
- Thea Viney is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court unit in London South.
- Kenneth Langrish (DOB: 11/5/1985) is from Enfield in London.
- Basky Capitao (DOB: 1/6/1994) is from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire.
- Jemy Capitao (DOB: 24/4/1993) is from Llanelli in Wales.
- Harvey Kimpton (DOB: 23/3/2000) is from Harlow in Essex.
- Ayyub Elaouzi (DOB: 10/11/1998) is from Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire.
- Harry King (DOB: 14/2/2001) is from Hertford in Hertfordshire.