Crawley man sentenced for role in drugs network

Crawley man Darren O'Donnell (centre) with Thomas Beamount (left) and Harry Conain. Pictures: Sussex Police
Crawley man Darren O'Donnell (centre) with Thomas Beamount (left) and Harry Conain. Pictures: Sussex Police

A Crawley man was one of six people sentenced after police broke up a Sussex drug network.

Darren O’Donnell, 34, of Aspley Court, Crawley, pleaded guilty to supplying crack cocaine and possession of heroin, according to Sussex Police.

He was jailed for 20 months at Brighton Crown Court earlier this month.

Five men and a teenage boy were sentenced for their roles in Brighton drugs dealing activity which was smashed by detectives from the Sussex Police Organised Crime Investigation Team at Brighton, police say.

Brighton Crown Court Judge Sharni Barnes sentenced Thomas Beamount, 21, of Heath End Road, Bexley, Kent, to three years and eight months imprisonment after he had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Harry Conain, 20, of Lynton Road, London, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, police say.

A 16-year-old boy from London, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given 18-months imprisonment in a youth offenders institution after he admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.

Paul Akinuli, 49, of Findon Road, Brighton and Dean Hughes, 38, of East Street, Brighton, were both given 22-month sentences suspended for two years.

Akinuli pleaded guilty to supplying a class A substance and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and Hughes admitted conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, a police spokesperson confirmed.

The court heard that the men and the teenager were part of the ‘Telfon’ network which supplied heroin and crack cocaine over six months in the city between July and December 2015, according to police.

When the 16-year-old and Conain were arrested in Madeira Place, Brighton, on November 19 last year they were found in possession of 116 wraps of crack cocaine and 88 wraps of heroin with a street value of more than £2,000 as well as £400 cash.

When police carried out a raid on December 8, Akinuli was arrested while making his way to supply heroin and crack cocaine to others, officers said.

Beaumont was also arrested at an address in Brighton and was found to be armed with a machete, knives, drug wraps and cling film, police confirmed.

Detective Constable Mark Pinder said: “We are pleased with the outcome and believe that it sends another clear message to drug dealers wishing to peddle death on the streets of Brighton and Hove that they will be caught and brought to justice.

“Operation Cooden was a successful operation that has culminated in more than 50 arrests of heroin dealers in the city in different groupings. We worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and colleagues in neighbouring forces and also with the support of the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit.

“Judge Barnes said the results were the hallmark of an excellent police operation and all officers involved were to be commended.”

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