Three members of an organized crime group who sold cannabis-laced sweets through social media have been sentenced following an investigation by the Met. A police investigation began after Olivia Butler, 24, was stopped for driving a car without insurance in Camden in January last year .
Officers searched the vehicle and found several boxes of sweets and drinks containing THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis. They were in packets made to look like branded sweets including Haribo and Smarties and they also sold a cannabis syrup in medicine bottles.
Detective Inspector Darren Jones said: “This group brazenly thought they could get away with selling dangerous substances in plain sight on social media. The hard work of our officers has put a stop to their criminality and closed a significant supply chain.”
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(Image: Met Police)
Butler, 24, of Evan Cook Close, Peckham, denied having any knowledge about the contents of the boxes, telling officers that she was delivering them to another person on behalf of a friend. During the course of the investigation, officers analyzed 114,629 text messages and 67,964 photos found on Butler’s phone. The content recovered on the phone linked Butler to Reo Mangal, 24, and Ceroan Mangal, 35.
Officers discovered the group had used Snapchat and Instagram to sell the cannabis sweets to customers across the country. The products were delivered in the post and money was paid into three bank accounts linked to the three individuals.
One member jailed for 30 months
Following the investigation, officers raided three addresses in October and the suspects were arrested. Butler was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply class B drugs and being concerned in the supply class B drugs. Reo Mangal, 24, of Nazareth Gardens, Southwark, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply class B drugs, supply of class B drugs and being concerned in the supply of class B drugs.
(Image: Met Police)
Ceroan Mangal, 35, of Pemberton Gardens, Archway, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, after pleading guilty to possession of class B drugs and being concerned in the supply of class B drugs. All three were sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday (May 12).
“The impact of these substances should not be underestimated – they can cause an adverse reaction. Edibles are typically stronger than other cannabis products and it’s impossible for the customer to know what ingredients have been included,” DI Jones added.
“Removing drugs and other dangerous substances from our communities is key to reducing other associated crime that happen as a result of drug dealing, such as violence and antisocial behaviour.” A separate investigation into where the group bought the products is ongoing.
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