Church Road dealers sentenced for their part in Willesden drugs ring

Final convictions for police operation targeting notorious area

SEVEN drug dealers, including a teenager and a 40-year-old woman, who plied their trade on a notorious street have been sentenced in court.

The convictions of the final people arrested as part of Operation Soto is the culmination to the 18-month long undercover operation that targeted drug dealing in Church Road, Willesden.

In the last few years, the street and its surrounding area had gained notoriety for being the home of open drug dealing of cocaine and heroin.

Last month, the final members of the 15-strong drug-dealing gang were trialled in Harrow Court and all convicted of a variety of drug offences.

Eric Ferguson, 44, from Northolt, was sentenced to eight years in jail, Barrington Thompson, 33, of Monson Road, Harlesden, and Winston Williams, 54, from Woodford Green, Essex, were both given four years.

Darlton Haywood, of Eton grove, Kingsbury, received four-and-a-half years, Marcia King, from Islington, the only woman in the gang, was sent to jail for two-and-a-half-years and Andrew Pang from Twickenham was sentenced to 15 months .

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A 17-year-old from Kingsbury, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was placed on a 12-month community rehabilitation order.

Operation Soto was carried out in two phases last October and November.

Officers stormed Xawaaladda Amal Express, an internet caf�, Spicey Nicey, a West Indian takeaway and Jet Max, a computer shop, all in Church Road, in addition to scores of homes in Brent and five other boroughs.

Brent Police teamed up with colleagues from Territorial Support Group, Specialist Crime Directorate to form a 430-strong team that carried out the raids.

DC Anthony Stanton of Brent Police task force said: “This was an undercover operation that has led to the arrest and conviction of members of a criminal network involved in the supply of Class A drugs.

“Operation Soto was a direct response to information received from our local community about criminality, drug dealing and Anti social behaviour in and around the Church Road NW10 area.

“The operation identified individuals involved in the large scale distribution of Class A drugs as well as those involved in street dealing.”

In February Mark Hill, 35, of Dimsdale Drive, Kingsbury, Craig Buchanan, 29, of Deacon Road, Willesden, Marlon Beckford, 25, of Hazeldean Road, Harlesden, Tonelle Gray, 21, of Roundtree Road, Sudbury, David Aston, 23, of Harlesden Road, Harlesden, Albert Holton, 51, of Sandringham Road, Willesden, Michael Hall, 37, from Stanmore, and Jordan Lindsay, 19, of Church Road, Willesden, were all jailed for a variety of drug offences after they were arrested as part of Operation Soto.