Birmingham drug dealer becomes first woman to be convicted by West Midlands Police for county lines

Henna Ashraf Credit: West Midlands Police

A drug dealer from Birmingham has become the first woman across the West Midlands Police area to be convicted of running a County Lines drugs operation on her own.

The 25-year-old, from Croftdown Road, Harborne, was operating what she termed the ‘Mase Line’ from Birmingham all the way down to the Devon town.

Her money was made through selling Class A drugs in Torquay – over 180 miles from where she lives.

Henna Ashraf showed off her wealth by taking pictures inside her Mercedes car and posting photos of bundles of cash on the social media app Snapchat.

Ashraf was spotted driving down the M5 on 9 December 2020, when officers stopped her near to junction 24.

Police say she boasted about her life on snapchat Credit: West Midlands Police

She eventually stopped the car and provided false details of her mother’s name at first.  

Inside her car officers found a damaged Nokia mobile phone folded in half and then wedged between the seats and the centre console.

Despite snapping the handset, the IMEI was still visible and was confirmed to be the relevant handset for the Nokia mobile phone being used for the ‘MASE’ drugs line.

Ashraf was arrested and taken into custody.

Text messages were obtained which were sent from the phone with one saying ‘Best both deals cal now fat bits.’ Drug dealers commonly use this terminology to refer to heroin and crack cocaine.

This message was sent to 40 separate contacts on the 7 October 2020 between 10.07pm  and 10.08pm. 

Other messages referring to deals were also sent including ‘On now best of both cal now deals’ while other messages were sent revealing the unique Mase branding of the drugs line including ‘On with both cal now fat bits deals mase line.’

West Midlands Police believe the messages were advertising class A drugs, heroin and crack cocaine for sale.

A snapchat she sent of her money Credit: West Midlands Police

Ashraf was convicted of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin between 14 August 2020 and 9 December 2020 following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

She will be sentenced on 20 December.

Detective Superintendent Syed Hussain, West Midlands Police lead for County Lines, said: “County Lines gangs should know they are in our sights and our work goes on 24/7 throughout the year to stop them.

“Ashraf was unusual in being a lone woman heading a County Lines drugs operation and we are delighted to have worked with our colleagues at Avon and Somerset Police to put an end to this drugs line and secure a successful conviction at court.  

“Communities are left destroyed by County Lines and we are determined to stop people like Ashraf from profiting from the misery of others. 

“We work with a raft of partners and local authorities as well as charities and we try to raise awareness of the general public so that they can become more aware of the dangers associated with County Lines and exploitation.”