A 22-year-old man from Hassocks has been jailed for six years for his part in Brighton-based drugs ring.
Remy Douieb, 22, of Stanford Avenue in Hassocks, was one of seven men convicted of supplying drugs following an investigation by officers from the Sussex Police’s Organised Crime Investigation Team known as Operation Cooden.
All seven men were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court last month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply drugs at previous hearings.
Sussex Police say Douieb was the organiser and leader of the drug dealing network, which was known locally as ‘Ricky’. Detectives said he would hold phones and direct runners to users to supply heroin and crack.
During the police investigation into the network there were two heroin related deaths that are attributed to the ‘Ricky’ line; 48-year-old Dennis Walsh and 20-year-old Madeline Stokes.
At sentencing in at Lewes Crown Court on Friday June 24, Judge Shani Barnes told the men: “I cannot sentence you for the deaths of those poor people but I will name them and they will not be forgotten.
“You were all heavily involved in this prolific, callous and brazen drug dealing which is not low level. You plied your filthy trade in front of children and families playing on the beach amongst other areas. I would not be doing my duty to the community if I did not pass severe custodial sentences”
The judge also referred to a robbery committed by Douieb in Reading where he had attacked a seven-month pregnant woman who had complained to him about selling drugs outside her mother’s house in London. He has previously served a prison sentence for the offence.
Judge Barnes said: “During the attack you told that woman that you were a man with no morals. I sincerely hope you find some during this sentence”
Damian George, 20, of South Park Drive, Ilford, Essex was jailed for five years and eight months. Police say he was Douieb’s right hand man, and oversaw resupplies to the drug ‘runners’. He was observed on one occasion wielding a large hunting knife during the a resupply. When he was arrested on the A23 entering Brighton, he was found in possession of a black imitation hand gun.
Scott Collins, 37, of Terminus Road, Brighton was jailed for four years and was regarded as a runner for the group.
Geoffrey Momoh, 24, of Hadley Grange, Harlow, Essex, was jailed for three and a half years.
Dean Temple, 38, of Sillwood Street, Brighton, was jailed for 28 months.
Sam Povall, 31, of no fixed address, was jailed for 27 months.
Charlie Magrino, 18, although 17 at the time of the offending, of Haringey, North London, was sentenced to two years, suspended for two years.
After sentences were passed Judge Barnes awarded commendations to detectives for what she described as “The hallmark of an excellent operation borne out in the guilty pleas of the defendants. All these defendants pleaded guilty at a very early stage because of the weight of evidence placed upon them by you. As the resident Judge and a local resident, I say thank you and commend this team. I don’t often commend but this operation is one that I am in awe of”
Detective Sergeant Julian Deans, who was the deputy senior investigating officer, welcomed the verdict.
He said: “Operation Cooden was a successful operation that culminated in over 50 arrests of heroin dealers in this city. We worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and colleagues in neighbouring forces and also with the support of the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit. Operations of this nature do not just happen. It takes hours and hours of painstaking work behind the scenes in the shadows to build a case of this nature.
“I am pleased to have been able to rid the city of this group. The likes of Douieb and George thought that they could just bring their knives and guns to protect their heroin business into this city and this was met head on by our team. We will not relent and we will continue to target every heroin dealer who thinks they have a chance of survival in this city.
“My thoughts also go out to every family that is affected by heroin. I have both the fortune and misfortune to witness both sides of the trade. I live a surreal life at times, where I witness drug dealers peddling their death on the streets of Brighton and then end up investigating the end product of that trade by investigating every heroin death. Those victims and families deserve the best response we can give as police officers. My team delivers that response and it serves to redouble our efforts every time we encounter the heartache that heroin brings”
Police say that of the 43 other people who were arrested, all pleaded guilty to offences including possession with intent to supply Class A and other conspiracies related to drugs supply.
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