IMMIGRANTS who ran a major drugs ring pumping £64,000 of class A narcotics into Portsmouth have been jailed.
Sierra Leonean Maliki Kargbo, 22, and Ukrainian Yuriv Dvoryanynov, 38, were locked up for their roles dealing cocaine and heroin in the city.
Homeless Kargbo – who came to the UK when he was five – led the gang, running a ‘drugs hotline’ from a base in Bournemouth, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.
Using an elaborate web of ‘burner’ mobile phones, he was able to sell drugs to scores of addicts in Portsmouth, ferrying 2kg of cocaine and heroin into the city before police busted the operation.
Jailing him for 13 years, Recorder John Williams said Kargbo took advantage of the vulnerable to run his ‘money-making enterprise’, saying he was the ‘king of the pack’.
‘The system was relatively sophisticated and designed to protect the organiser Maliki Kargbo,’ he said.
‘This was in my view his enterprise. His motive was money all too easily made by selling crack and heroin to those addicted or likely to become so.
‘I’m certain that he cared not for those who had taken the drugs or their well-being.
‘He used the vulnerable to do the dirty work while he kept his distance.’
Prosecutor Adam Norris told the court the drugs ring ran from November 1, 2016 until May 19.
He described how Kargbo – who has previously been jailed for three years drug dealing as a teen – would send mass text messages to addicts advertising his services.
Mr Norris said he set up six phone lines using different pay-as-you go phones, with one master phone, calling his business Brazil or Max B.
‘Mr Kargbo ran a drugs line sending out text messages in bulk to about 80 to 100 drug addicts offering the supply of both heroin and crack cocaine,’ he told the court. ‘The drugs line would change every so often.’
Kargbo would also use a network of drug-addicted couriers to deliver narcotics to clients or dealers.
Key to this, Mr Norris said, was Dvoryanynov who was described as ‘his man on the ground’ in Portsmouth.
Dvoryanynov, a heroin addict who lived in Fratton Road, Fratton, would assist with transports.
He taught other members of the gang, including ‘vulnerable’ drug addict Richard Sowalsky, 64, of Queen Street, Landport, the best route to transport the drugs.
Mr Norris told the court that on five occasions, Dvoryanynov took Sowalsky on trips from Portsmouth to collect drugs and deliver them.
Dvoryanynov – who fled Ukraine to avoid fighting in the country’s on-going war – pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and was jailed for three years and four months.
His sentence was lessened as he had already spent seven months in a Home Office detention centre since his arrest earlier this year.
‘You were the man not only collecting, you were the man on the ground in Portsmouth,’ said the judge.
‘You were being told that the system was all systems go and when the system was go you were the man. You were the first lieutenant, so to speak, the man on the ground.’
Sowalsky pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs. He was sentenced to two years, suspended for 21 months and order to undertake 30 days of rehabilitation activity.
Also punished was Joanna Hill, 18, of London, who was 17 at the time of the offence.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.
The judge said she had been ‘naive’ and ‘taken advantage of’ by Kargbo, and sentenced her to 20 months in prison, suspended for 21 months.
She was ordered to do 15 days rehabilitation and 100 hours unpaid work.