County lines drug dealer from Abbey Wood jailed

A county lines drug dealer who was caught with a loaded pistol flushing crack cocaine down the toilet in his home in Abbey Wood has been today been jailed for eight years.

Melvin Gambanga, of Federation Road in Abbey Wood, south east London, has been brought to justice after officers from Kent Police’s county lines team identified him as co-ordinating the supply of Class A drugs in Gravesend.

During a raid on his home in Greenwich in March 2020, he was caught flushing crack cocaine down the toilet along with heroin. A short time later police found a loaded gun in his wardrobe.

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The 23-year-old admitted possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing ammunition without a licence, acquiring criminal property and possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.

He was sentenced to eight years in jail at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday 15 July 2020.

Detective Constable Mark Donovan, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: “Gambanga has demonstrated he is an individual who presents a clear threat to public safety.

“Not only does he see people suffering from drug abuse as a means to make money, his willingness to possess a loaded gun demonstrates he was willing to commit acts of serious violence.

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“Despite being based outside of Kent, he was not able to escape capture after our enquiries revealed he had been actively involved in co-ordinating the supply of drugs to Gravesend.

“Each day we are gathering new information on the supply of class A drugs in our town and, as this case shows, we will not hesitate to come after drug dealers at their own homes to ensure they are brought to justice.”

Gambanga was arrested after officers from Kent Police’s County Lines Enforcement Team identified him as an offender who was co-ordinating the supply of class A drugs in Gravesend between October 2019 and March 2020. They subsequently carried out a warrant at his home on 12 March.

Specialist officers had to force entry to his flat and they went on to find him inside an en-suite having just flushed crack cocaine, with a street value of up to £8,000, down the toilet. 

He was arrested on the spot and officers went on to find further quantities of heroin and crack cocaine, which had been assembled into ready to sell wraps, in his bedroom.

Various drug paraphernalia was also seized, along with mobile phones which contained numerous messages relating to the supply of drugs.

A search of his wardrobe then uncovered a pistol, which had been loaded with four bullets, in his wardrobe.

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