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South London crack cocaine dealer 'Avon Barksdale' jailed

Raphael Castillo Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Raphael Castillo fancied himself as a "gangster", police said

A would-be "gangster" crack dealer who used aliases inspired by hit US TV series The Wire has been jailed.

Raphael Castillo, 29, from south London, registered a car and phone in the names of fictional drug kingpins Marlo Stanfield and Avon Barksdale.

When police raided his home they discovered a stash of luxury designer goods, including a Rolex worth £7,300.

He pleaded guilty to supplying heroin and crack cocaine and was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court earlier.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property.

Castillo was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, and was ordered to pay back £12,775 under the Proceeds of Crime act.

Police estimate Castillo, who was head of a London drugs ring, made £71,000 dealing from properties in Yeovil, Somerset, in 2016.

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Officers found a number of luxury items at Castillo's home in Camberwell, south east London

When officers raided Castillo's home in Vestry Road, Camberwell, in December, they found a Fendi backpack worth £2,500, trainers worth in excess of £1,000 and about £3,000 in cash, in addition to the Rolex.

Avon and Somerset Police said he ran a county lines drugs operation, in which urban dealers sell drugs in smaller locations, and made about £71,430.67 in total.

Det Con Richard Grierson said: "He fancied himself as a gangster figure and registered a vehicle in the name of Marlo Stanfield and a phone in the name of Avon Barksdale, both fictional drug dealers from US TV series The Wire.

"All the dealers working for this county lines operation were from London and have come to Yeovil to deal large quantities of class A drugs from rented properties."

The Wire was a long-running TV crime drama that aired in the US between 2002 and 2008 and saw Avon Barksdale and Marlo Stanfield run a drug dealing network in Baltimore.

Police said Castillo's criminal operations were "well organised" and highly "lucrative", and like the fictional character Avon Barksdale, Castillo too now faces time behind bars.

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