County lines in Hackney: Drug dealing rapper ASCO and four others facing combined 41 years behind bars
PUBLISHED: 08:29 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:29 16 September 2019
A rapper who ran a county lines drugs network out of Hackney has been jailed for 12 years and six months, with four accomplices also facing long stretches behind bars.
Asfa Allen, 32, who is also known by the name ASCO, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday.
During the earlier trial, the court heard that Kent man Allen - of Pegasus Way, Gillingham, was the organiser of at least four drug dealing routes from Hackney into the home counties.
The others sentenced included Akwasi Kwateng, 24 of Lindisfarne Way, who received a seven year sentence and Donovan Corbett, 22 of Lockgate Close, who was given nine years.
Barking man Bradley Faponle, 33 of Great Galley Close, was sentenced to nine years and nine months, while Denxel Nimoh, 20, from Coventry faces five years and seven months behind bars.
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A sixth man, Kai Lye, 28 of Barlow House in the Provost Estate will be sentenced at a later date.
Det Sgt Gary Clarke, from the Met's Specialist Crime North who led the investigation, said: "This was a long and thorough investigation carried out by my dedicated team who worked tirelessly to collate evidence that would remove these individuals from our streets and shut down a county lines route.
"Allen, who also went by the stage name 'ASCO' had landed a successful and lucrative recording contract with a major label where he could have left his life of crime and violence behind, however he could not release his grip on running a county lines route and will now be spending time behind bars instead of working on his music."
During the trial, the court and jury heard that in the early hours of 12 December 2017, following months of investigations, officers executed 15 warrants across London and the home counties, which resulted in £25,000 in cash and approximately half a kilogram of heroin being seized.
Det Insp Dave Williams, added: "Drug dealing is inextricably linked to the violence we have seen across the capital.
"This result is a culmination of months of hard work and dedication from colleagues who remain focused on tackling drug dealing and violence in London."