Three drug dealers have been jailed for more than 17 years following a police investigation into a long-running County Drug Line.

Sussex Police received information that the ‘Sparky’ line was once again active in Eastbourne, selling crack cocaine and heroin to vulnerable people.

In conjunction with the South East Trilogy Unit from the Metropolitan Police, simultaneous warrants were executed at addresses in Eastbourne and London on 22 July.

This led to the arrest of three individuals and the seizure of Class A drugs. The trio were subsequently charged and remanded in custody.

Rease Colebrook, 29, of Normanton Street, Forest Hill, London, was charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine from 9 November 2021 to 20 July 2022; conspiracy to supply heroin from 9 November 2021 to 20 July 2022; possession with intent to supply 27.9g cocaine and 7g crack cocaine on 20 July 2022; possession with intent to supply 14.7g heroin on 20 July 2022; and possession of cannabis on 20 July 2022.

Edson Cardoso, 28, of Allwood Close, London, was charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine from 9 November 2021 to 20 July 2022; conspiracy to supply heroin from 9 November 2021 to 20 July 2022; and possession with intent to supply 1.48kg cocaine on 20 July 2022.

Gary Brown, 28, of Larkbere Road, Lewisham, London, was charged with possession with intent to supply heroin; possession of an offensive weapon (a knuckle duster); possession with intent to supply crack cocaine, all on 20 July 2022.

On 19 July 2023 they appeared at Woolwich Crown Court and pleaded guilty to all offences. The following day, Colebrook (street name ‘Ady’) was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, Cardoso (street name ‘Rio’) was sentenced to six years and four months’ imprisonment, and Brown (street name ‘Major’) was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.

Investigating Officer, PC Dan Cloake, said: “The three defendants have been running this specific drugs line in Eastbourne for around 10 years, and although previously convicted of drug supply offences and imprisoned prior to this, they continued their drug supply as soon as they were released.

“One tactic the ‘Sparky’ line has always used is the cuckooing of known drug-users and vulnerable adults’ addresses, often targeting those with significant drug or mental health issues.

“Over the past decade, we have successfully relocated at least five vulnerable people away from the Eastbourne area to new addresses in order to safeguard them from further exploitation.

“We hope this result will further protect those at risk of harm in our communities, and make people understand the serious consequences of drug-dealing.”

Read more about County Lines, including advice and support, here.