Sussex

Brighton cocaine-selling gang jailed

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Media captionPolice were filmed making arrests in Brighton

A gang of men who conspired to supply cocaine across a city have been jailed.

They were detained during raids in Brighton and Hove last June, when cash, cocaine and vehicles worth several hundred thousand pounds were seized.

Leader Mevlan Dema was arrested after police stopped him his BMW in West Street, Brighton, in which they found cocaine, Hove Crown Court heard.

Eight out of the nine men - all Albanian - were in the UK illegally, the BBC understands.

Illegal alcohol in licensed premises associated with the group was also seized.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Eight of the Albanian men who were in the drugs gang
Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Gang leader Mevlan Dema was jailed for 13 years

Police officers working with Immigration, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), council licensing teams, trading standards and environmental health found the alcohol in a range of premises including a pub, two kebab shops, three café bars and an off-licence.

All nine men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine and were sentenced over two hearings, the first on 22 March and the second earlier.

Dema also pleaded guilty to two charges of money laundering.

The defendants

  • Mevlan Dema, 32, a catering manager, of Hove Park Villas, Hove, jailed for 13 years
  • Gledis Osmani, 21, of London Road, Brighton, jailed for eight years
  • Klinton Dani, 23, a kitchen worker, of Pool Valley, Brighton, jailed for three-and-a-half years
  • Ndricim Xhepha, 28, of London Road, Brighton, jailed for three-and-a-half years
  • Leonard Dema, 35, of Pennymead, Harlow, Essex, jailed for three years
  • Ramazam Capa, 21, Gjenti Capa, 27, Kadri Dema, 24, and Izmir Dema, 25, jailed for three-and-a-half years each

Det Ch Insp Steve Boniface, of Sussex Police, said: "This was a long running operation to disrupt this Albanian organised crime group who were supplying significant quantities of cocaine within the city.

"We will now be applying to the court to seize their assets and any profits they have made from their criminality.

"The majority of Albanians working and living in the city are contributing to the community and economy in a positive way."

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Det Ch Insp Steve Boniface said the work to recover the gang's profits continues

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