A 23-year-old man's been jailed for four years after supplying class A drugs into the seaside town of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
Ashton Cooper, from Woolwich in London, was arrested as part of a County Lines investigation called Operation Orochi.
Officers from Norfolk worked alongside the Metropolitan Police to make the arrest. They focused on analysing mobile phone data to find the people who control County Lines.
Cooper was found to be the line holder for a dealer group called 'LJ' which supplied crack cocaine and heroin to Great Yarmouth between the 21st of November 2019 and the 27th of January 2020.
Officers discovered that he'd received more than 20,500 texts and calls within that time period.
This investigation is another example of how, by working together, forces are able to permanently shut down County Lines at their source.
What is County Lines drug dealing?
According to the National Crime Agency, County Lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries, into rural areas and away from major cities.
Officers say it's particularly dangerous because it usually (although not exclusively) involves the use of children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs.
The ‘County Line’ is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs.
The National Crime Agency say areas where the drugs are taken to are reporting increased levels of violence and weapons-related crimes as a result of this trend.
The officers involved in the investigation that saw Cooper's arrest say he was exploiting young and vulnerable people to supply the drugs.
Line holders like Cooper are facilitating the exploitation of young people and vulnerable adults and Norfolk Police remain committed to continue shutting down County Lines and protecting those from the misery this type of criminality can bring.
Cooper pleaded guilty at Norwich Crown Court on Monday 21st September to two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
He was given four years in prison.
To read more about County Lines in the Anglia region, check out the links below: