Slough & Maidenhead: group convicted after duo beaten up and coerced into dealing drugs
FALSE IMPRISONMENT, blackmail, supply of drugs and money laundering – these are some of the crimes five people have been convicted of in Slough and Maidenhead.
The five, aged 19 to 28, were all tried at Reading Crown Court, which reached the jury’s verdict on Friday, September 10.
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The convictions relate to two incidents on April 22 and December 5, 2020, in which two victims were forced to sell Class A drugs to a West London-based gang that had established itself in the Home Counties, using the County Drugs Lines. .
Drug traffickers have sometimes been detained against their will and subjected to violent threats. In the first incident in April, both victims sustained serious injuries, while in the second incident, one of the victims received threats of violence but was not otherwise injured.
Lennon Gomes, 22, of Shaftesbury Avenue, Feltham, was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict of three counts of forcible confinement, two counts of blackmail and two counts of conspiring to supply heroin and cocaine.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cannabis in a trial. The offenses targeted two separate victims.
Mustafa Mohamud, 27, of Cottage Road, Islington, has been convicted of one count of money laundering.
Anne-Marie Garland, 19, of Aylsham Close, Reading, was convicted of encouraging the commission of offenses.
Syed Shah, 22, of Priory Green, Islington, was convicted of two counts of forcible confinement and two counts of conspiring to supply heroin and cocaine.
Naveed Mahmood, 28, of Basildene Road, Hounslow, has been convicted of one count of forcible confinement and one count of blackmail against a victim.
Shah was charged on December 23, 2020, Mahmood on January 22, 2021, Gomes on February 12, Mohamud on April 9, and Garland on April 12.
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Investigating Officer Detective Constable Rob Gibson, based at Maidenhead Police Station, said: “This series of offenses against two young victims, who were indeed drawn into a life of crime, was quite horrible.
“Both victims were vulnerable young men and were coerced into drug trafficking by an organized crime group who intended to bring their drugs to the Thames Valley.
“After a trial, the five offenders were sentenced unanimously by a jury for various offenses, and they will now be sentenced accordingly.
“We are committed to removing the serious problem of drug trafficking from our communities, making the Thames Valley a hostile place for county traffickers.
“They often target the most vulnerable in our society, and all five will now be sentenced accordingly. ”
Gomes, Mahmood, Mohamud, Garland and Shah will return to Reading Crown Court for their sentencing on October 29.