A man who ran a “lucrative” drugs line that used young boys to deliver heroin and crack cocaine has been jailed.

Joel Lettman, 31, of Buxhall Crescent in Hackney Wick, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after pleading guilty to Class A drug dealing offences.

Lettman was accused of sending out bulk text messages advertising heroin and crack cocaine for sale to drug users.

He was arrested in Harlow, Essex, in April 2022 and jailed after a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on September 13 this year.

During the hearing, Lettman denied being the head of the drugs line and claimed he had no knowledge of the identity or ages of the young boys used to deliver drugs.

His arguments were ultimately dismissed by the judge.

Following sentencing, the Metropolitan Police officer assigned to the case, Detective Sergeant Snook, said: “Joel Lettman is an extremely astute drug dealer.

“He employed stringent tradecraft to avoid police detection.

“But of more concern was Lettman’s use of young boys to deliver class A drugs upon his instructions.

“Lettman sat back and reaped the financial rewards that his lucrative drug line provided, whilst placing young boys in situations fraught with danger”.

The Metropolitan Police has urged anyone concerned that someone close to them is involved in the supply of drugs and is being exploited to contact police on 999 in an emergency, or 101.

Anonymous reporting is also possible through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.