A married couple who supplied Mamba into Lincoln have been each jailed for a year after officers found drugs bags hidden under the garden decking at their village home.
When officers carried out a warrant in September at the Ruskington property of Stephen and Charlotte Bavin, they discovered more than 5,000 grams of synthetic cannabinoids. Drugs had also been hidden in the garden shed.
It is the largest seizure of Mamba in Lincolnshire since it was made a Class B controlled drug in December 2016.
The couple, who had no previous convictions, had been stopped by police on September 7 when they were in a vehicle that had been connected to the supply of Mamba to street dealers in Lincoln.
Six sandwich bags of the drug, totalling almost 135g, were found in a larger bag on the back seat. It had a street value of between £700 and £1,269. The search of their home was then carried out.
The total street value of the drugs seized was between £26,000 and almost £48,000, as the price of a gram of Mamba can vary between £5 and £9.
When sentencing the pair at Lincoln Crown Court today (November 16), Recorder Nicholas Bacon, said: “This substance causes devastation, physically and emotionally, to the recipients of it.
“You were clearly dealing in this ghastly substance – moreover, you were not at the bottom of the chain (as) there were at least two other suppliers beneath you.
“It is appalling what these substances do to human beings. (They) cause unnecessary and awful consequences for many youngsters and others who are unfortunate to be preyed on by suppliers of the kind unfortunately you fall into.”
Speaking about the impact on use of mamba in Lincoln, he added: “Pointedly, I note that subsequent to your arrest there has been a reduction in the number of complaints about this drug.”
The Recorder said that due to mitigating factors, including an early guilty plea and the couple’s personal circumstances, he had passed the most lenient sentence possible.
Both Stephen, aged 51, and Charlotte, aged 41, Bavin, of Hillside Estate, Ruskington, pleaded guilty on October 8 to the offences: possession of a controlled drug (Class B) with intent to supply; and supplying a controlled drug (Class B) to another, between April 1 and September 7, 2018.
They were sentenced to 12 months for each of the offences, to run concurrently.
Detective Constable Gary Johnston, who led the investigation, said: “The Bavins ran a supply line of Mamba into Lincoln, supplying at least two sub-dealers.
“Their arrests and subsequent imprisonment follows on from work that began with our week of action against drug dealers in August.”
Since the week of action, which began on August 6, 86 arrests have been made in total related to the operation, of which 34 were on suspicion of drugs offences. A quantity of Mamba equivalent to 6,222 individual street deals has been recovered.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “I have made it my mission to raise at every possible level the appalling effects of psychoactive substances such as Spice and Mamba on our communities. It gives me huge pride in our hard-working officers to see these dealers who peddled misery for personal profit brought to book for their crimes.
“This outstanding result demonstrates the UK-leading effectiveness of Lincolnshire Police in tackling the challenge of removing these hideous drugs from our streets.”
Chief Inspector Stewart Brinn said: “This is an excellent result and sends a clear message that those dealing in drugs will not be tolerated in Lincoln.
“The convictions are among the first achieved by our city centre taskforce and demonstrate our intention to continue to enforce against anyone who seeks to profit from the misery of others.
“The taskforce, known as the Evita team, was set up by Chief Superintendent Nikki Mayo in response to an increase in on-street drug dealing. They will remain in place throughout next year as a visible presence within Lincoln to deal with crime in the city centre and adjacent area.
“We look forward to working closely with our partners at the Lincoln Intervention Team to help victims with the problems which keep them on the streets, be it addiction, mental health or homelessness.
“However, we remain committed to dealing firmly and swiftly with criminal behaviour.”
Sergeant Steve Parker, part of the dedicated city centre team set up following the week of action, said: “We know that although two dealers have been sent to prison, there are others ready to fill that gap.
“Our team continues to collect intelligence and make arrests, focussed on making sure we protect people in the city centre to keep them safe.”
16 Nov 18 2:17 PM