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Grime artist who led county lines route from east London convicted with associate

News   •   Aug 01, 2019 12:09 BST

Allen [L] and Kwateng [R]

Following an eight-week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court, two men were convicted on Tuesday, 30 July.

Both were found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs via a county lines network.

[A] Asfa Allen, 32 (02.10.86) of Pegasus Way, Gillingham, Kent.
[C] Akwasi Kwateng, 24 (24.06.95) of Lindisfarne Way, E9.

They will be sentenced during week commencing Monday, 9 September, along with the following who have already pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs via a county lines network:

[B] Kai Lye, 28 (07.12.90) of Barlow House, Provost Estate, Hackney N17.
[D] Donovan Corbett, 22 (20.03.97) of Lockgate Close, Hackney, E9.
[E] Bradley Fapolnle, 33 (19.05.86) of Great Galley Close, Barking.
[F] Denzel Nimoh, 20 (16.06.99) from Coventry.

All six were convicted under Operation Halmist – a proactive operation established by the Mets Specialist Crime North, formerly named Trident Central Gangs Unit.

It's objective was to disrupt organised Class A drug distribution routes into county forces, focusing in east London.

As part of the intelligence collated during the operation, it was established that [A] Asfa Allen had been the organiser for at least four county lines routes out of London into the home counties using lower-level gang members to facilitate his supply chains starting from Hackney.

During the trial, the court and jury heard that in the early hours of 12 December 2017, following months of investigations , officers executed 15 warrants across London and the Home Counties, which resulted in £25,000 in cash and approximately half a kilogram of heroin being seized.

Fifiteen people were arrested as part of these raids. The six found guilty were charged on 13th December 2018.

Communications devices including phones and laptops including key evidence linking the suspects to active county lines, expensive designer footwear and vehicles were also seized.

The Trident Central Gangs Unit were supported throughout the investigation by colleagues from the other Trident units, Hackney Gangs Unit, Territorial Support Group (TSG) and the Financial Investigation Unit.

Detective Inspector Dave Williams, from Specialist Crime North said: “Drug dealing is inextricably linked to the violence we have seen across the Capital.

“This result is a culmination of months of hard work and dedication focussed on tackling these prolific drug dealers who would targeted vulnerable people and managed multiple drug lines for the sole purpose of financial gain."

“Allen, who also went by the stage name ‘ASCO’ had landed a successful and lucrative recording contract with a major label where he could have left his life of crime and violence behind, however he could not release his grip on running a county lines route and will now be spending time behind bars instead of working on his music.

“I hope today’s conviction reassures communities that we do take action and highlights our ongoing commitment to bearing down on county lines criminality.”