FOUR people from London have been sent to prison after admitting being involved in a county lines gang that operated across Basingstoke.

The men were sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison after being involved in a network known as 'Turkish Jay', which operated across the Basingstoke area.

The charges are in relation to a period between October 2017 and June 2019.

According to police, the network was masterminded by a man named Hood Hood, aged 28 of Wadham Road, Walthamstow. He pleaded guilty to supplying Class A crack cocaine and heroin and was sentenced to six years in prison.

The other three were all described as having 'significant' roles in the conspiracy:

  • Hanifi Tunc, 27, of Marlborough Road, Poplar, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A crack cocaine and heroin, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
  • Mohammed Mir, of Lawrence Avenue, Waltham Forest, was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting conspiracy to supply Class A and possession of a bladed article.
  • Salim Seif, 23, of Wells Street, London, was sentenced to four years after admitting conspiracy to supply Class A (Crack and Heroin).

Paying credit to the officers involved in the investigation, part of Operation Fortress, Detective Sergeant Adam Merrick said: “Thanks to the determination, professionalism and persistence of our officers, staff and legal team, this dangerous gang has been dismantled.

“Investigations such as these require painstaking work to ensure all those responsible are put behind bars, not just those who are at the bottom of the chain.

“This sentencing demonstrates that we will do everything we can to stop Basingstoke being targeted by violent drugs networks because we know the harm and misery they cause to our communities.

“We can’t tackle this problem alone but with the help of our communities, we can take action against those intent on breaking the law.

“If you have any concerns about drug-related activity in your area, please contact us on 101.”

What is county lines?

County Lines is the name given to drug dealing which involves organised crime groups from urban centres expanding their drug dealing activity to smaller towns and rural areas. Dealers typically use a single phone line to facilitate the supply of drugs which becomes a valuable asset and is protected with violence and intimidation.

As part of Hampshire Constabulary's Fortress plan, they say they are "committed to working with our partners to ensure Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is a hostile environment for those seeking to profit from drugs".

They also appealed to residents to help them protect against county lines. If you are you concerned that cuckooing, where drug dealers take advantage of users and move into their homes as a base of operations, may be happening in your area, you should look out for the following signs:

  • People seen inside the house or flat who don’t normally live there
  • People coming and going from the property
  • More taxis and cars than usual appearing at the property
  • Not seeing the person who lives there as frequently
  • When you see the occupant, they may appear anxious or distracted
  • Seeing drugs paraphernalia near to a property

They add that you can do the following to help them:

  • Speak to local police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency;
  • If you’d rather stay anonymous, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111;
  • If you are a young person who is worried about being involved in County Lines, or knows someone who is, you can speak to an adult and let them know how you feel;
  • You can also contact who allow you to pass on information about crime anonymously;
  • You can also contact Childline on 0800 1111 – they are a private and confidential service where you can talk to counsellors about anything that is worrying you.