DRUG-DEALING gang members who brought misery and violence to the streets of Basildon have been jailed for a total of 41 years.
Six of the Bush Boys were sent down yesterday for between four and 16 years for robbery, money laundering and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs when they appeared at Basildon Crown Court.
The group befriended drug addicts across the town over a seven-year period.
After supplying them with free crack cocaine and heroin, they took over their homes as drug-dealing bases.
Judge Owen Davies QC, sentencing, said: “Nobody in my seat can feel anything but overwhelmed by the misery caused by the drugs that flooded Basildon.
“I have seen cases of burglary committed by drug addicts desperate to raise money for their next fix. I have seen parents who have had possessions stolen by their children. I have seen seen people lose their jobs, dignity and good character because of drugs.
“It’s inconceivable those in this case did not realise the effect their drug dealing had. But they did not care and looking at their countenace as they sit in the dock now, they still do not care.”
A four-month trial last summer heard the Bush Boys were snared after a year-long undercover operation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
The team, known as Operation Kilo, was put together to identify the gang members and stem the flow of drugs brought in to Basildon.
The operation came toadramatic climax after the gang rumbled one of the undercover cops, known as Deano.
He was taken to a flat in Roodegate, Basildon, beaten and subjected to a brutal interrogation.
Deano only escaped by jumping from a first-floor window after gang leader Mohammed Hassan left the room to fetch a knife.
Outside Basildon Crown Court, senior investigating officer, Det Supt Tracy Hawkings, said: “This has a huge impact on the local community who have to suffer drug dealers operating in their neighbourhoods and be exposed to the intimidation and violence.
“Throughout this investigation, we received numerous pieces of information from members of the public that we were able to use to build up an intelligence picture.
“Without this, our operation would not have been such a success and I am grateful to the community for their help in tackling this issue, which has been a problem in Basildon for a number of years.
“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of one of our officers who was seriously injured.
“He has recovered, but showed remarkable bravery in a situation I honestly believe he was lucky to escape from with his life.”
Gang kingpin Hassan, 31, of Dalrymple Road, Lewisham, was yesterday handed a 16-year prison sentence.
Perry Bohm, 19, of Burrage Road, Woolwich, was handed seven years, and Thomas Symons, 19, from Woolwich, was jailed for four years.
Ross Bannister, 19, of Wellington Gardens, Charlton, was put away for five years and four months, Kyle Larmond, 21, of no fixed address was sentenced to five years and four months.
Daniel Sherlock, 18, from Tottenham, was jailed for four years and Joshua Porter, of Innes Close, Wickford, was jailed for eight months, suspended for two years.
Another member of the Bush Boys will be sentenced at a later date.