Teenagers jailed for drug trafficking from Ottery’s house

09:36 February 7, 2022

Two teenagers who ran a County Lines drug gang from a Bed and Breakfast in Axminster and a home in Ottery have been jailed.

Umit Tutal and Imad Talbi spent £100 a night renting rooms at the Axminster guesthouse where they spent four separate stays, one of which lasted nine nights.

They used it as a base to send out dozens of text messages announcing heroin and crack cocaine specials, with slogans such as “big bits” and “super value”.

One or both made 18 round trips to London to deliver cash and collect more drugs and recruited a local drug addict to drive them on two or three occasions.

The men were both 18 at the time and extended their operation to a house in Ottery St Mary, where they gave the tenant free drugs in exchange for using him to package and store drugs.

Gemma Small, 45, of Mossop Close, Ottery St Mary, has previously admitted allowing her premises to be used for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.

They used the Doctor Street name for their range of drugs and Talbi later ran an identical operation in Kent under the Bonez name.

They were caught with drugs worth £4,420 and the phones they used to check the Doctor line when police raided the B&B in February 2020.

Analysis of the phone showed that it had been working for just under three months.

Both claimed to be victims of modern slavery who had been bullied into participating, but Tutal had previous convictions for dealing drugs dating back to the age of 15, and Talbi was arrested with more drugs in Maidstone as he was out on bail for the Devon offences. .

Talbi and Tutal, both now 20 and both from London, admitted conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine and were each jailed for three years and eight months by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court .

He told them: “It’s probably the case that you were pressured or taken advantage of at the start, but the difficulty for you is that you never stopped and you never looked for aid.

“You both went back and forth in London for two months, up and down, up and down with drugs and money. You were part of the whole operation.”

Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said Talbi told the bed and breakfast owner he was a student named Adam who was on holiday in Devon.

The men stayed four times over several days, always paying the £100 room rent in cash.

He said images of drugs and money were found on the phone they used to operate Axminster’s Doctor line and a home in Ottery St Mary.

Miss Elena Papamichael, for Talbi, said he had already had the charges against him dropped after he was identified as a victim of modern slavery. He went to live with relatives in Morocco to escape the gang culture in London, but was brought back when he returned.

Mr Aneurin Brewer, for Tutal, said he was lured into the drug world at a very young age and then recruited.

The two defendants were only 18 at the time of the plot and they were towards the bottom of the chain and not the big profiteers.

In previous hearings, a woman who allowed her house to be used as a base and a man who acted as the gang’s driver were both given community or suspended sentences.

Nathan Ross, 37, of Barline, Beer, admitted conspiring to supply heroin and cocaine and was jailed for two years, with curfew for four months and sentenced to 20 days of rehabilitation activities .

Gemma Small, 45, of Mossop Close, Ottery St Mary admitted to allowing the use of her premises for the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and was ordered to perform 15 hours of unpaid community work and 10 days of rehabilitation activities.

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