A man from Penge is one of six people jailed after a police investigation into a county drugs line that involved two missing children.

The drug supply was controlled in and around London and Birmingham and supplied in Bournemouth.

The investigation began in July 2022 after a 16-year-old boy from Farnborough was arrested in Bournemouth after being found in possession of a large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin.

Officers seized a mobile phone from him and he was released under investigation, whilst support mechanisms could be put in place to safeguard him.

The investigation was referred to the Met's Op Orochi team due to concerns of the child being used by a county lines gang to supply drugs in Bournemouth.

Four offenders were identified as controlling the 'Hustle' county drug line which had operated within Bournemouth and the 16-year-old had been working for them.

It was later established the 'Hustle' line was back up and running, again supplying crack cocaine and heroin within Bournemouth.

On September 21, 2022, officers from Op Orochi deployed to the Bournemouth area to target this activity.

Whilst in Bournemouth, officers arrested Lee Kitchener, of Burham Close, Penge, and Feliciano Mendes, of Redriffe Road, Plaistow.

News Shopper: Feliciano Mendes, of Redriffe Road, Plaistow.Feliciano Mendes, of Redriffe Road, Plaistow. (Image: Metropolitan Police)

A large quantity of crack cocaine and heroin was recovered.

Additionally, another 16-year-old missing boy from Warwickshire was located within a flat in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth.

The following day, September 22, a warrant was executed in Birmingham resulting in the arrest of the line holders.

A large quantity of drugs was located within the flat, along with the handsets used to direct the 'Hustle' drug line.

Five of the group were found guilty of drugs offences on Thursday, May 11 at Bournemouth Crown Court, following a seven-week trial.

They were sentenced to jail terms yesterday (Thursday, June 22) at the same court.

These included Mendes, 19, who was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

He was jailed for two years.

Kitchener, 20, pleaded guilty on February 1 to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine/heroin and possession with intent to supply crack cocaine/heroin.

He was sentenced to four years and six months’ imprisonment.

The children were not prosecuted and were safeguarded.

Det Con Jack Jeffries, from Met’s Op Orochi, said: “This investigation resulted in the closure of a significant county drug line supplying crack cocaine and heroin onto the streets of Bournemouth causing misery to local residents."