Skip to main content

​Westminster 'Spice' drug dealers have been jailed

News   •   Aug 09, 2017 11:03 BST

[Images: Men and women convicted]

Seven men and a woman concerned in the supply of the synthetic cannabinoid ‘spice’ have in the past three weeks been sentenced to over seven and a half years’ imprisonment and received a total of 35 years’ Community Behaviour Orders.

Augusto Limba, 26 (08.10.1990) of no fixed address was sentenced yesterday, Tuesday, 8 August at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply a Class B drug. He was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, a 12 month supervision order and a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Acting on intelligence, officers from Westminster launched Operation Spatha on Tuesday, 7 March to tackle the supply of the Class B drug. This has been running alongside Westminster's ongoing Operation Kaskara - a multi-agency operation aimed at tackling spice on the streets of Westminster.

Chief Superintendent Peter Ayling, Westminster’s Borough Commander, said: “In January, after three deaths, including one murder, directly related to the psychoactive substance commonly known as ‘Spice’, Westminster’s Crime Squad began a detailed Operation in conjunction with specialist officers and the Local Neighbourhood Team. Spice wreaks havoc on users and causes great concern within the community. The substance has become prevalent within the homeless community where dealers prey on some of the most vulnerable within our society. Officers felt passionately about tackling the dealing of spice.

“The Operation was hugely successful, the conviction of nine dealers and the sentences handed down reflects the seriousness of the offence and the commitment of officers in Westminster to protect the community. Spice is a vile substance that robs the user of all awareness and dignity and is highly addictive. The tactic utilised was the first of its kind be used nationally and we remain committed to protecting the vulnerable from this drug and those that would place the users and wider community in harm’s way.”

Harry Read, 20 (22.08.1996) of no fixed address was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 4 August for one count of supplying spice, he received a nine month suspended sentence, 250 hrs community service order and received a two-year CBO ordering him not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

During the arrest phase of the operation on Tuesday, 27 June, officers targeted drug dealers who mainly operate in the Charing Cross area, supplying spice predominately to people that are homeless. Officers also executed search warrants at addresses in Lambeth, Ilford, Westminster and Dagenham.

The following defendants were sentenced on 26 July at Southwark Crown Court, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class B drug at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 28 June.

They were sentenced as follows:

Anthony White, 37 (18.12.1979) of Plane Tree Walk, Gypsy Hill was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to seven counts of conspiracy to supplying spice. A five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) was granted ordering White not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

Ramzi Barkat, 45 (18.06.1972), of Third Avenue, Romford was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to six counts of conspiracy to supply spice. A five-year CBO was granted ordering Barkat not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

Miguel Chaves, 40 (18.12.1976) of St Albans Road, Ilford was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to four counts of conspiracy to supply spice. A five-year CBO was granted ordering Chaves not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

Patrick Etiele, 32 (01.01.1985) of no fixed address was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to four counts of conspiracy to supply spice. A five-year CBO was granted ordering Etiele not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

Mark Akhimie, 48 (21.01.1969) of no fixed address was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply spice. A five-year CBO was granted ordering Akimie not to enter a designated area of Westminter.

Keziah Watson, 19 (20.08.1997) of no fixed address was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to nine counts of conspiracy to supply spice. She was also ordered to 30 hours at an attendance centre. A three-year CBO was granted ordering Watson not to enter a designated area of Westminster.

If any of the above are witnessed breaching any condition, the public are asked to contact police in Westminster on 101.

Two further defendants have previously pleaded guilty to supplying Class B drugs – spice and are due to be sentenced later this month at Southwark Crown Court, they are:

Dimitri Ofosu, 29 (17.01.1988) of Mayall Road and Ashraf Benyunis, 24 (28.06.1993) of no fixed address.