Drug dealers jailed in drugs crackdown after six-month undercover police operation
Some of the intelligence for police raids came following the killing of popular student Stefan Appleton
04 December, 2016 — By Joe Cooper
Abselom Terfa, Megan Allen and Eric Mukwaya
DRUG dealers who brought “misery” to Islington are now behind bars after a huge crackdown by the Met’s specialist gangs unit.
Officers went undercover to buy drugs from suspected dealers over the summer before carrying out dawn raids on homes in September and October.
Much of the dealing was connected with gang activity around the Marquess estate in Canonbury and estates in the Mildmay ward. The raids targeted members of the Red Pitch gang and the Essex Road gang, also known as Halton Mansions.
Some of the intelligence for the raids came following the killing of popular student Stefan Appleton, 17. The teenager was knifed to death in Nightingale Park by Blaise Lewinson, who was linked to Red Pitch – then locked in a turf war with the Essex Road gang. Lewinson was convicted of manslaughter and jailed in May.
Drug runners and “line holders” in charge of local rackets appeared individually at Wood Green Crown Court last week.
Eight people, primarily from central Islington and the borough’s border with Hackney, were sentenced on Friday after the Met’s six-month investigation. All had pleaded guilty.
Abselom Terfa, 22, of Liverpool Road, was both a drug runner for one drug racket and played a “significant role” in another. He sold wraps of heroin to undercover officers and more than £1,500 was found at his home when it was raided by police.
It is the third time he has been convicted of class A drug dealing. The court heard he was working for Marks & Spencer but was struggling to pay rent and bills and started working for a drugs gang to pay off debts. Terfa was sentenced to four years behind bars.
Judge Robert Morrison repeated a similar message to all involved, saying: “All a court can do when it comes to class A drug dealing is pass a custodial sentence so as to discourage people from doing it. It brings with it a host of other crimes, such as enforcing drug debts, and it brings misery to the addicts.”
Eric Mukwaya, 22, of no fixed address, was sentenced to three years and eight months for his involvement in the drug network. He supplied heroin and cocaine to undercover officers and was the holder of one of the drug lines. The court heard how he was subject to a “ferocious attack” while on remand in Pentonville Prison. He was stabbed in the side of the head after another prisoner entered his cell and tried to steal his belongings.
Megan Allen, 22, of Pleasant Place, Islington, was sentenced to three years in prison after supplying wraps of heroin and cocaine to undercover police officers. As well as selling drugs herself, she ran a drug line in which 16-year-olds were used as runners.
A 16-year-old, who cannot be identified due to his age, who was working for Allen, was given a one-year youth rehabilitation order and was ordered to carry out 40 hours’ unpaid work.
Allen was also known to John Callander, 46, of Rotherfied Street, who also supplied class A drugs to officers, but his sentencing was adjourned until December to assess his drug rehabilitation programme.
Jordan Jennings-Pitfield, 20, of Jupiter Way, was sentenced to two-and-half years in a young offenders’ institution for selling drugs. Ryan Maqsood, 19, of Clephane Road, was given two years.
Two other teenagers, who cannot be identified, were also handed youth rehabilitation orders.
Franciso Concicao, 46, of Rotherfield Street, was sentenced to 21 months in jail for selling class A drugs on two separate occasions. He fell into dealing to pay off debts and told undercover officers he did not like selling drugs in the sting.