Five men jailed for drug offences including exploiting boy, 15, who was made to carry drugs

Jaion Jacobs (top left), Miguel Fiorenzi (top centre), Jordan Barnes (bottom left), Michael McDonnell (bottom centre) and Rhys Johnson (right) Credit: Met Police

Five men have been sentenced for drug supply and modern slavery offences, including exploiting a 15-year-old child who was made to carry drugs from West London to Hampshire.

A 15-year-old boy went missing from west London in September and was later found at an address in Andover, Hampshire, by Metropolitan Police officers.

The child was being used as a "runner" on a county line operating from West London to Andover, headed up by a senior gang member, Rhys Johnson, aged 30, from Acton.

Police investigated and found the boy had travelled in a car driven by Michael Mcdonnell, 31, from Greenford, Ealing, alongside Jaion Jacobs, 18, and Miguel Fiorenzi, 17.

Officers searched a safe house in High Wycombe, controlled by Johnson and Mcdonnell, and discovered large amount of Class A drugs, valued at around £40,000, a high-value Rolex watch, cash and correspondence relating to Johnson and Mcdonnell.

The five men were arrested and charged with various offences including drug supply and modern slavery. They were later found guilty of these offences at trial.

During the trial, the court heard how the boy was groomed by Jacobs and Fiorenzi before they introduced him to Johnson with the intention of him becoming a drugs runner.

Johnson and Mcdonnell were both sentenced to over 16 years in prison on Friday, October 20.

Jacobs, from Hammersmith, west London, and Barnes, from Andover, were sentenced to two years, six months.

Fiorenzi, from Shepherd's Bush, was sentenced to two years, suspended.

PC Tom Quinn, who led the investigation, said: “We know all too well that drugs are linked to violence in our London communities and ruthless criminals exploit children or vulnerable people to help carry out their crimes.

“This investigation is an excellent example of how our Met officers have successfully dismantled an organised gang who coordinated the distribution of drugs through the exploitation of children.

"Through the hard work and diligence of our team, we managed to secure a lengthy sentence for drug supply and modern slavery offences, as well as safeguarding the victim and ensuring they receive the support needed.”

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