TEENAGE boys recruited to street deal for a gang peddling heroin and crack were met with ‘brutal’ violence by a ruthless enforcer.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard one boy, who was 16 at the time, was lured in when he was offered £500 a week – but was brutally attacked when he tried to quit.
The teenager, now 17, recruited another boy, Spencer Lock, now 18, into the gang that sold between 1.3kg to 2.6kg of class A drugs across Portsmouth between May and September 2016.
Now the gang’s leader in Portsmouth, Andrew Brown, his ‘trusted lieutenant’ John Mashette and former Pompey youth team player Xavier Attuh-Ansu have been jailed by a judge who said they ran a ‘significant conspiracy’.
Judge David Melville QC said when the boy tried to leave, Mashette ‘enforced his compliance in a brutal way’.
Brown was jailed for six years, Mashette for 79 months and Attuh-Ansu, who was spotted dealing on three days, for 16 months.
The court heard how Brown ran the DJ line drug – sending out bulk text messages to addicts in the city advertising heroin and crack cocaine.
While the true amount of drugs sold will never be known, when Mashette was stopped in a police car chase on May 3, 2016, he had 258 wraps of cocaine and 50 of heroin worth around £6,000.
Plainclothes police had spotted him in a Peugeot in the city but he reversed ‘at speed’ when blocked by an unmarked police car.
He mounted the pavement and attempted to escape ‘in broad daylight’ but his car got ‘stuck’ between parked cars.
Officers rushed out and CS-sprayed him after smashing the window.
Dad-of-three Brown was arrested in July 2016 in London with four phones and near a ‘large quantity’ of class A drugs.
Mashette visited him on remand to continue the drug-dealing operation.
Lock and the other boy were spotted by police dealing near a city tower block.
Both were viewed as ‘disposable commodities in terms of the supply of drugs locally,’ prosecutor Mary Aspinall-Miles told the court.
Brown, Attuh-Ansu, Mashette, Lock and the 17-year-old boy admitted two charges of conspiring to supply Class A drugs between May and November 2016.
Mashette also admitted dangerous driving and driving while banned. He admitted affray in an incident outside a nightclub in Maidstone, Kent.
Then-couple Siobhan Mitchell and, Joseph Smith, and Isabella Graham, admitted two charges of permitting their premises to be used by the gang, in exchange for drugs and payment of bills.
The gang used Graham’s home ‘as their own’ with parties and assaults taking place, police said.
Mitchell and Smith, who were paid two wraps a day, allowed the gang to use their home in Barbara Way, Hilsea.
Investigating officer PC Brett Woolley said: ‘The DJ line was evidenced operating out of London, with significant links in to organised crime in London, Kent and Portsmouth.’
He said the gang ‘used coercive tactics’ and violence ‘to continue their business out of greed for money and riches’.
Gang members and their prison sentences
DEALERS at the top of the gang in Portsmouth have been jailed for a combined total of around 14 years.
The gang operated in a ‘county lines’ model, prosecutor Mary Aspinall-Miles said, with them trafficking drugs from London, abusing local addicts and recruiting youngsters as dealers.
The prosecutor said: ‘This was a conspiracy to supply drugs, both by movement from London to be sold in Portsmouth, and then once in Portsmouth for those in the lower echelons to sell it on the streets.’
:: Andrew Brown, 32, of Bute Road, Croydon: six years.
:: John Mashette, 22, Amesbury Avenue, Tulse Hill, London: 79 months including six months for dangerous driving and affray, with a one-year driving ban.
:: Xavier Attuh-Ansu, 20, of Montgomery Avenue, Chatham, Kent: 16 months.
:: Joseph Smith, 40, of Miller Street, Carluke, South Lanarkshire: six months’ jail suspended for two years.
:: Siobhan Mitchell, 32, now of Priory Avenue, Lesmahagow, Lanark, South Lanarkshire: four months’ jail suspended for two years.
:: Isabella Graham, 52, Hanley Road, London: six months suspended for two years with 20 rehabilitation days.
:: Spencer Lock, 18, of Blossom Square, Portsea: 18 months suspended for two years with 25 rehabilitation days.
:: The 17-year-old boy, of Fareham: two-year youth referral order with 12 rehabilitation days.