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Five Convicted in ‘County Lines’ Drug-dealing in Guildford

Published on: 16 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 16 Apr, 2019

Bridge Street, Guildford where the drug-dealing was based.

Five people were convicted of drug-dealing in Guildford on Friday, (April 12, 2019) after undercover officers gathered evidence of illegal county lines operations.

Theo Beckford, 20, of no fixed address, Farshad Ibrahimi, 24, of North Circular Road, Neasden, London, Lee Martin Jones, 54, of Chaucer Court, Guildford, Preeti Patel, 45, of Bridge Street, Guildford and Lucia Zaccarini, 23, of Armour Close, Islington, London appeared at Guildford Crown Court.

Theo Beckford

In July 2018, CCTV operators reported a man, later identified as Theo Beckford, walking a dog near the Electric Theatre. He was seen to exchange a small white item with another man, who gave Beckford something in return. Immediately afterwards, Beckford repeated an exchange with another young man.

With repeated sightings of drug deals, a proactive intelligence operation was set up, focused on the address of Preeti Patel in Bridge Street which officers believed was a base for drug-dealing.

Number plate recognition work showed Jones travelled to North London on October 3, returning with Ibrahimi, Beckford and Zaccarini, who had been dropped off in London the previous day. Later that day, Beckford and Ibrahimi were seen walking towards the flat, accompanied by Jones and Zaccarini. The hired vehicle was parked nearby.

Farshad Ibrahimi

Over the following weeks, covert officers witnessed further deals between the gang, including exchanges with vulnerable local homeless people. A warrant under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act was granted for Patel’s property, where officers found Beckford, Jones, Ibrahimi and Zaccarini. The four were arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Patel was arrested later on a similar charge.

On the kitchen worktop, officers found 145 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, a pile of more than 300 white rocks, which tested positive as crack cocaine, and a lump of brown substance wrapped in cling film, which tested positive for heroin. Drug preparation materials including cling film, strips of black plastic and scales were also found. A mobile phone, on charge in the kitchen, had recently sent a message to 500 contacts suggesting drugs were available to purchase.

More wraps were found scattered across the bed and windowsill of the bedroom, plus a number of other mobile phones which constantly rang while officers conducted the search.

Beckford, Ibrahimi, Jones and Zaccarini and Patel were charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin. Patel was further charged for permitting the use of her home for supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

The judge sentenced the gang:

  • Theo Beckford – 32 months
  • Farshad Ibrahimi – 42 months
  • Preeti Patel – 9 months, suspended for 18 months
  • Lee Martin Jones – conditional discharge
  • Lucia Zaccarini – two years, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work

Investigating officer PC Simon Laidlaw said: “Drug-dealing is a blight on our communities and we’re pleased four dealers are now off the streets. Our efforts to disrupt the supply of drugs in our county relies on information from both intelligence operations and members of the public.

“If you have information about drug-dealing, please let us know. Your information, no matter how small or insignificant you think it might be, helps us build a bigger picture and tackle this abhorrent crime across our county.”

Either contact Surrey Police via www.surrey.police.uk or by calling 101. Or you can, anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. They never ask your name or trace your call and you could earn yourself a reward.

What are the signs of potential drug dealing?
– Lots of visitors, who don’t stay very long, arriving at all times of the day and night
– People waiting in cars outside particular properties exchanging small packets or cash
– Lots of visitors bringing items such as T.V’s or bikes but leaving empty-handed
– Lone/vulnerable neighbours suddenly having groups of young men living at their address.

What police want to know
– Time, date and place
– Vehicle registrations and the make, model and colour
– Descriptions of people and details of what they were doing
– Direction they travelling to and from
– How many times you have seen them? Is it always at the same time of day?

Please always pass the information to the police and do not confront or approach suspected drug-dealers.

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