Five jailed over Class A drug supply between London and Swindon

By Barrie Hudson - 24 March 2023

  • Charlie McCulloch

    Charlie McCulloch

Five men have been jailed over two drug operations involving trafficking between London and Swindon.

David Kalala

Toran Ali, 24, of Bridge End, Walthamstow, was identified as the head of the operation on both occasions. In 2019 he was responsible for running the cocaine and heroin line known as Alpo between February and October of that year.

The drugs line was estimated to have made at least £238,320 during this period and a total of 34,089 text messages were sent on the phone line associated with the drugs line during this time, arranging and facilitating drugs for sale. 

Ali was responsible for using two youths from London as runners to deal drugs on his behalf, along with Swindon-based runners.

He appeared at  Swindon Crown Court and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment.

Lewis Owusu, 26, of Farmilo Road, Walthamstow, based himself in Swindon and dealt drugs on behalf of the Alpo line. He remained in contact with Ali to ensure the drugs were supplied on the streets in Swindon. 

He was sentenced to three years and nine months' imprisonment and a further two years and 11 months' imprisonment for a previous drugs supply offence in London which he committed the day before travelling to Swindon in 2019.

Marieneve Principato, 24, of Walpole Road, Tottenham was given a two year community order with 175 hours' unpaid work for his involvement, which saw him arranging the movements of proceeds made from the drug-dealing enterprise.

Jay Lucas, 24, of Darnley Close, Walcot, Swindon, was previously sentenced for his part in 2021, was given a five year and 11 month custodial sentence.  

Whilst on court bail, Ali began another county line drugs operation using the street name of Draco in October 2021. During this time, he had the assistance of David Kalala, 20, of Cazenove Road, Hackney, Charlie Mcculloch, 20, of Somerville Road, Walcot, Swindon and Darren Darville, 47, of Calvert Road, Walcot. 

This drugs line ran between November and December 2021 after Ali tried to evade police by changing his tactics in an attempt to fall under the radar. On this occasion, his operation was disrupted by the Swindon Fortitude team after six weeks.

For his involvement in this drugs line, Ali received a six years and eight months custodial sentence which will run concurrently to his first sentence. He was also subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order for five years which begins on his release from custody.

McCulloch received a three year and one month custodial sentence and a further 18 months for a separate GBH incident.

Kalala was jailed for two years and nine months and Darville was jailed for two years and three months.  

PC Chris White from the Swindon Fortitude team said: “County lines drug supply is a national problem and needs to be continually targeted as it affects everyone within our communities.”

Temporary Det Sgt Gareth Snoad, of the Fortitude team, added: “Our team are committed to proactively tackling the supply of Class A drugs in Swindon and Wiltshire. Our work relies heavily on information and intelligence from the members of the public. 

"This work by the Fortitude team required creative investigation methods to ensure the perpetrators were brought to justice. These results show that no matter how long it takes, we will ensure we continue to target those that cause harm to those vulnerable people within our communities.”

Det Supt Ben Mant said: “The Fortitude Team has relentlessly pursued these county lines in order to identify those involved and put them before the courts so that justice could be served.

"These lengthy prison sentences are a result of their dedication to targeting prolific and serious offenders and subsequently safeguarding young and vulnerable people from being exploited and put in extremely volatile and often violent situations as ‘runners’ for these drugs lines.”

Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Subscribe to The Link

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ