Three county lines drug dealers who targeted and coerced vulnerable people into supplying Class A drugs have been jailed for more than 20 years.

The trio operated primarily in Gravesham, and “caused widespread misery” as they transported drugs from London to north Kent.

Kent Police said the county lines operation often coerced vulnerable people into supplying the substances, and even groomed a 12-year-old boy into running drugs.

The network was led by Alex Oni, who coordinated multiple county lines in the area, and was described as a “remorseless offender willing to manipulate people.”

News Shopper: Kent Police: Alex OniKent Police: Alex Oni

Adrian Bodzioch and Deividas Sakalauskas were sentenced alongside Oni and acted as runners who transported the drugs from London to north Kent.

Detective Sergeant Andy Leventis, Kent Police’s senior investigating officer for the case, said: "These three men’s efforts to supply class A drugs have caused widespread misery and it is entirely appropriate that they have been imprisoned.

"Oni in particular has shown himself to be a remorseless offender who is willing to manipulate vulnerable people into supplying class A drugs. Indeed, he was so lacking in morals that his network groomed a 12-year-old boy into supplying drugs on his behalf.”

He added: “All three considered themselves to have a well organised and sophisticated pattern of offending but have been brought to justice thanks to the expertise of our officers.”

The county lines were active across Gravesham between January and September 2019.

Oni was arrested during a dawn search warrant at a property in Albion Terrace, Gravesend, on 25 September 2019. The activity took place after evidence from drug dealer’s mobile phones consistently showed him to be the one arranging the supply.

Officers also found his network had used a 12-year-old boy to act as a dealer and the child has since been safeguarded by Kent Police and other partner agencies. He has been held on remand since his arrest.

Sakalauskas was first arrested on 13 February 2019 after Kent Police officers stopped a white Skoda Octavia travelling in Gravesend.

News Shopper: Kent Police: Deividas SakalauskasKent Police: Deividas Sakalauskas

He was found in possession of a burner phone and a small quantity of crack cocaine but, due to the need to forensically examine the evidence, was released from custody under investigation.

He was arrested a second time on 10 June. On this occasion he was travelling in a black Mercedes which had heroin and crack cocaine hidden in its centre console.

Bodzioch was first arrested on 4 September 2019 after he was seen driving a white Audi, registered in Oni’s name, on the A2 near Gravesend.

News Shopper: Kent Police: Adrian BodziochKent Police: Adrian Bodzioch

Oni, 31, of Marina Drive, Northfleet denied conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine but was found guilty of both offences following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court. He was sentenced to 11 years and 9 months’ imprisonment.

Bodzioch, 22, of Northcote Road, Northfleet, admitted conspiring to supply crack cocaine and possessing a weapon designed to discharge a noxious liquid. He was sentenced to four years and 10 months’ imprisonment.

Sakalauskas, 20, of Northcote Road, Northfleet, admitted possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply. He was sentenced to three years and eight months’ imprisonment.

Messages on a phone seized showed he was in regular contact with Oni. A search of Bodzioch’s home also led to the seizure of a small canister which was capable of discharging noxious substances.

All three were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday 22 April 2021.

Five other men linked to the supply network were previously jailed in 2019 and 2020. They received sentences totalling more than 17 years.