Three ‘county lines’ drug dealers have been sent to prison in a landmark case using the Modern Slavery Act.
The three gang members have been sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for human trafficking offences, after they used vulnerable teenagers from south London to transport and sell drugs in Hampshire.
The men will also be subject to Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders for 15 years after being released from prison which will severely restrict their use of mobile phones, SIM cards and computers.
The case - thought to be the first of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act - has been welcomed by London Councils.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, London Councils’ executive member for schools and children’s services, said: ‘We welcome these sentences and the pioneering use of modern slavery powers to prosecute these criminals. The county lines drug trade is a plague across the capital and London boroughs support a hard-line approach to the ‘county lines’ drug dealers who ruthlessly exploit young Londoners and groom them into lives of crime.
‘The men jailed today were prepared to deploy terrifying levels of violence to ply their trade and ensure those under their control did their bidding. We will continue to protect vulnerable young Londoners by putting people like these defendants behind bars.’