County lines drug-dealer jailed under modern slavery laws
A drug dealer has today (4 October) been jailed for exploiting children as part of a ‘county lines’ operation between Birmingham and Lincolnshire.
County lines drug rings involve dealers from cities who seek out new markets in other parts of the country.
In a landmark case, Zakaria Mohammed, 21, is believed to be the first person to be jailed under new modern slavery laws in respect of the use of children.
Mohammed admitted using three children aged between 14 and 15 years old to deal crack cocaine and heroin while they lived in substandard accommodation.
He was involved in transporting the children, drugs and money, as well as being responsible for maintaining contact between customers and suppliers. He was jailed for 14 years at Birmingham Crown Court today.
Jason Corden-Bowen from the CPS said: “County lines drug rings destroy lives by expanding their dealing operations into new areas, targeting the vulnerable and entrapping new addicts.
“Zakaria Mohammed exploited three children by taking them away from their home city to live in a flat which was in a poor and dangerous condition.
“He initially denied his involvement but in the face of the evidence compiled by the CPS and police, including text messages from several mobile phones, he ultimately pleaded guilty and will now have to face the consequences.”
Notes to editors
- Jason Corden-Bowen is a District Crown Prosecutor with CPS West Midlands
- Zakaria Mohammed (23.10.96) pleaded guilty on 24 September to four counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and five counts of arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to exploitation
- He was jailed for 14 years at Birmingham Crown Court on 4 October