Two London men have been sentenced following a joint investigation into a county drug line.

Adnan Mayanja, 26, of Walton Road, London, and Asher Robinson, 26, of Sherrard Road, London, appeared before Lewes Crown Court on 9 February after pleading guilty to offences in July 2023.

Mayanja was sentenced to five years and seven months’ imprisonment and Robinson was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Through intelligence and reports received, Sussex Police and Metropolitan Police identified a county drug line operating between East London and East Sussex, known as the ‘Bingo’ line.

In June 2023, officers from Sussex Police’s Project ADDER team and from the Met Police’s Op Orochi team conducted simultaneous warrants in Eastbourne and London.

Robinson tried to evade officers and flee his address in London, discarding mobile phones and his driving licence, but was swiftly located and arrested.

Following examination, the discarded phones provided vital evidence that Robinson was involved in the running of the ‘Bingo’ line. Officers also located £1600 in cash in Robinson’s address.

Mayanja was arrested on the same day at his home address in London.

In Eastbourne, officers conducted a warrant at an address in Northbourne Road and seized multiple mobile phones and several thousands of pounds of cash.

Richardson was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and Mayanja was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine and possession of criminal property. Both were remanded into custody.

County lines is the name given to drug dealing where organised criminal groups (OCGs) use phone lines to move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas. A county line is the mobile phone line used to take the orders of drugs.

They exploit vulnerable people, including children and those with mental health or addiction issues, by recruiting them to distribute the drugs. This is often referred to as ‘drug running’. Criminals may also use a vulnerable person’s home as their base of operations, known as ‘cuckooing’.

Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) is a government initiative to tackle drug related issues in Hastings through partnership working with police, council, and health partners. The team target local gang leaders driving the drug trades while better helping people to recover from addictions.

Investigator Julian Stokes said: “People like Mayanja and Robinson target and exploit vulnerable people in our communities. They are responsible for bringing harmful and dangerous drugs into our towns and this sentencing demonstrates that this will not be tolerated in Sussex.

“We continue to work hard to dismantle county lines and work closely with our partner agencies and police forces, such as the Metropolitan Police’s Op Orochi team, to do this.”