Gang leader who peddled heroin and crack cocaine to Portsmouth is put behind bars

THE leader of a gang who brought class A drugs from south London to Portsmouth has been jailed.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 10:22 am

Terrell King, 25, of Alexandra Place in south east London, pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiring to supply class A drugs in September.

Jason Valvona, 49, of Gosport Road in Fareham, pleaded guilty to four counts of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs – with both being sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court today.

The pair were accused of being involved in a £150,000 to £450,000 criminal enterprise, where they brought heroin and crack cocaine into the city through a county lines operation.

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Terrell King was jailed for his role in organising the county lines conspiracy

Their conspiracy ran between September 23, 2016 and April 5, 2017.

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In the operation they had been joined by King’s girlfriend Paris Gayle, 28, from St Aubyn’s Road in Upper Norwood, Croydon; Devonte Sowell, 20, of Stratford Road in London; and Prince Adeshokan, 19, of Lakehall Gardens, London.

All of the above also pleaded guilty of conspiring to supply class A drugs and will be sentenced tomorrow.

Jason Valvona at an earlier hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court

Prosecutor David Richards told the court that texts were sent out to Portsmouth drug users under pseudonyms such as Lewis The Landlord and Ricky, with King being the most senior member of the operation.

He said: ‘King was party to the conspiracy throughout – others joined at later dates.

‘A mobile phone would send out a bulk text to a list of users to advertise that drugs were available. Customers would reply with orders.

‘Others came down to Portsmouth as part of the organisation. Valvona was used as a runner and his address was used as well.’

Further drug wraps discovered by police also had Valvona’s DNA on them.

The court also heard from Garry Green and Hugh French, defending King and Valvona respectively, who told the court that King readily acknowledges the seriousness of his crimes and shows remorse for this, but has since tried to turn his life around.

Valvona has 26 previous convictions, but none of these were drug-related – Mr French told the court that his life prospects had been damaged by living in a HMO in Waverley Road, Southsea, with a group of other drug users, at the time of the offences.

Mr French added that he had a lesser role in the operation and was on the ‘bottom rung’ of the gang’s conspiracy.

Sentencing, judge William Ashworth said to King: ‘You were in a leading role – you obviously had substantial influence and were persistent in running the operation despite interference from the police and were arrested three times during the offending period.’

To Valvona, who stood on crutches in the dock due to ailing health, judge Ashworth remarked that he was dealing with a drug that he was clearly addicted to, which was taken advantage of by the gang.

King was sentenced to seven years in prison, with Valvona receiving an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Co-defendant Robert Tomney, 51 from Basin Street, Buckland, was acquitted.

Another alleged conspirator, Benjamin Mills, 28 from Milton Road, Portsmouth, died before the first trial.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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