Three men have been jailed for a total of more than 24 years after they were caught with £1million worth of cocaine.
Antonio Chambers, 47, of Vicarage Gate, Kensington, Darren Lamb, 45, of no fixed address and Karl Balogun, 31, of Wood Lodge Gardens, Bromley were each sentenced for their role in supplying Class A drugs after all pleaded guilty.
The Metropolitan Police said Chambers recruited Balogun and Lamb to become his drug runners during the height of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Balogun, Chambers and Lamb
Balogun was a licenced minicab driver and would use his profession as cover to conduct drug ‘runs’ across London and south-east England, while Lamb posed as a legitimate passenger in Balogun’s cab by sitting in the back during the drop-offs.
On May 18, at around 8.40pm, police saw Balogun drive to the South Norwood area in his white Toyota Prius where he picked up Lamb. They made their way to Campden Grove, Kensington, where Chambers, who was on foot and carrying a rucksack, was waiting.
Chambers was then seen walking to the rear of the vehicle, where he handed over the rucksack to Lamb, shortly before taking his rucksack back and walking off as the vehicle drove away.
Later that morning Balogun and Lamb made a drug drop off in Suffolk before getting back into the vehicle and making a further stop in Buckinghamshire where the two men collected drugs.
That afternoon, Balogun and Lamb drove back to Kensington where Chambers met them again and was seen getting into the rear of the vehicle with a rucksack.
As Chambers entered the vehicle, plain-clothed officers intercepted the Prius and arrested the three men for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
When searching the vehicle, officers found two 1kg blocks of cocaine in Chambers’ rucksack and a holdall bag containing eight 1kg blocks of cocaine.
After searching Chambers’ and Balogun’s addresses cops found encrypted smartphones, electronic scales, £12,000 in cash, tubs of cannabis and another 1kg block of cocaine.
The Met said he drugs seized had a street value of £1,100,000.
Detective Constable Mike Bunn, the investigating officer from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This crime group were supplying multiple kilos of cocaine across London, and the UK, on a weekly basis.
“Antonio Chambers ran his drug empire from the comforts of Kensington and used members of his firm to do his bidding.
“There is an undeniable link between drug dealing and violence, and I am pleased we have prevented these drugs from being sold on our streets and bringing chaos to London’s communities.
“This dangerous individual has been locked up for a considerable amount of time. I hope this sentencing sends a clear message to anyone who is considering carrying out similar acts that we will absolutely use all legal powers available to us to bring offenders to justice.”
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