A drug dealing gang have been sentenced to a combined total of almost 20 years in jail after some of their members bragged about their crimes in rap music lyrics – which their leader later claimed to have stolen from other artists and was unaware of what they meant.
Chay Maguire-Baker, Kieran McNamara, Leon Frroku and Paul Harding who were involved in the ‘Dexter’ drugs line all admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Rapper Jeff Onuh – who goes by the stage name ‘VI’ – denied conspiracy to supply Class A drugs but was found guilty by a jury. He was shown overwhelmingly to have a significant role in the operation.
Each of the men were sentenced on Wednesday (30 March), at Basildon Crown Court.
They will join Dylan Mills, who was the main line holder, in jail. He was sentenced to three years and eight months in July 2021 for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and possessing criminal property. The line was supplying Class A drugs into Southend, as well as Bournemouth, in Dorset.
Although our specialist officers from Op Raptor south were able to show overwhelmingly how each of the men were connected to the drug line using a variety of police tactics, a key part of the evidence which connected the group to drug dealing were music videos which Onuh had made and posted on his websites.
One particular video featured three of the gang appearing to discuss running a Class A drug line. In that video, Frroku, Onuh and Mills are seen to handle large sums of cash and to pass packages to other men. That video was played in court during Onuh’s trial at Basildon Crown Court, alongside a translation of the lyrics provided by Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice, who leads our Op Raptor south team.
During examination at his trial, Onuh accepted the interpretation of the lyrics and claimed he regularly takes lyrics from other artists and passes them off as his own. As a result, he claimed to have no idea what the lyrics meant.
During the video, Onuh refers to his phone “popping” and needing “more credit” to send messages. He also openly refers to paying for “Da Vinci [designer] teeth” using the money he makes from selling cocaine.
As a result of an extensive investigation, each of the men were arrested and charged with being conspiracy to supply of Class A drugs.
Although Maguire-Baker, McNamara, Frroku and Harding were all forced to admit their parts, Onuh maintained he had nothing to do with drug supply.
He was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Detective Superintendent Natalia Ross said:
“This was a brutal and prolonged attack where these three men subjected the victim to extreme violence.
“They had armed themselves and hunted him down with the clear intent to leave him with significant injuries.
“Such was the ferocity of this attack, he is lucky to be alive.
“Then in an attempt to escape justice, Hursham, Mwalim, and Dulieu put the safety of dozens of other people at risk by travelling at high speed on the wrong way on a busy road.
“Their reckless actions show how little they value life.
“It is testament to the work of the first responders and medical professionals that the victim has survived and to the responding officers whose tenacity, dedication, and professionalism meant this gang were unable to escape.
“Now, thanks to our thorough investigation they will be spending the foreseeable future behind bars.
“Today, Essex is a safer place.”