Two notorious drug dealers have been jailed after police disrupted their illegal activity in Crawley.
Anton Reynolds and Wayne McFarlane were arrested during County Lines Intensification Week, which ran from 9 to 15 October.
The campaign is designed to raise awareness of County Lines through education and engagement, and to crack down on criminals who cause the most harm to our communities.
After responding to an unrelated incident earlier this year, officers discovered a bulk text message on a person’s mobile phone. Data analysis was carried out on the number the message was sent from, which revealed it was being used to run the ‘JC’ line to deliver drugs from London to Crawley.
On 10 October, police identified an Air BnB in the town which had been booked in the name of one of the suspects – Reynolds, 31, of Rathlin Road, Crawley.
He was seen to enter the property in possession of a large holdall and then leave. He was stopped and searched, and found in possession of a number of wraps.
A search of the holdall revealed a quantity of cash, while further drugs were found within the property.
Reynolds was arrested and charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin, being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin, and possession of cannabis.
The following day (11 October), the second suspect, McFarlane, 28, of Cornell Square, Lambeth, was stopped by Sussex Police officers working in partnership with the Met Police’s Op Orochi team in Fullwell Road, London, and searched.
A search of his address was carried out, where various drugs were located.
McFarlane was arrested and charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.
Both defendants were remanded in custody and pleaded guilty to all offences.
At Lewes Crown Court on Friday 17 November, Reynolds was sentenced to 49 months’ imprisonment; McFarlane was sentenced to 38 months’ imprisonment.
PC Ross Sandiford, of the Op Centurion team, said: “The ‘JC’ drug line came to notice to the Centurion team in August 2023. Extensive enquiries carried out by officers, working collaboratively with the Op Orochi team within the Metropolitan Police, identified McFarlane and Reynolds as controlling the drug line.
“Officers worked tirelessly to ensure best evidence was achieved prior to their arrest. Due to the evidential package put before the court both defendants had very little option other than to plead guilty.
“County drug lines supplying Class A drugs can have a devastating impact on the end user and wider community. Dealers will often exploit children and vulnerable drug users to store and supply controlled drugs on their behalf.
“I would urge anyone with information in relation to drug supply to contact Sussex Police.”
Read more about County Lines, and what you can do to help, here.