Shepherd's Bush Woman Helped Run County Lines Gang

Sara Kokot jailed for dealing crack cocaine and heroin

Becklow Gardens. Picture: Google Streetview

A 31-year-old woman from Shepherd’s Bush has been jailed for eight and a half years for her part in running a ‘county lines’ drug operation in which class A drugs were supplied to areas outside London.

Sara Kokot of Cathnor Road ran the operation along with 32-year-old Linford Goode of Crosfield House, Mary Place, W11 who was jailed for 19 years. Police believe that some of the drugs were prepared for distribution at the Cathnor Road address.

They were involved in large-scale dealing of crack cocaine and heroin from London to Swindon and Marlborough, by a drugs gang which operated between April and September 2018. Over the course of the conspiracy, the so-called ‘Frank’ drugs line was contacted by over 800 individual numbers.

Goode and Kokot reaped the financial rewards of the trade in class A drugs from London, whilst their associates Tiffany Smart and Scott Cadder operated on the ground in Swindon. Dean Black and Shaun Smith dealt to addicts in Marlborough.

On 26 September 2018, warrants were executed at addresses linked to Goode, Kokot, Smart and Black. The ‘Frank’ line handset was recovered from Goode’s address and a review of the handset revealed that there were messages on the phone consistent with it being a drugs line. An estimated £20,000 cash was seized from Goode’s address, along with a Rolex watch worth £21,000.

Officers recovered evidence of drug preparation and a quantity of cocaine powder seized from Kokot’s address, and MDMA was found at Smart’s property.

The court heard evidence of threats issued to enforce the demands of the gang’s leaders, who journeyed to and from Swindon in luxury cars and boasted of opening bottles of vintage champagne. The court also heard of the terrible effects of heroin and crack cocaine addiction, leading the hundreds of addicts to lives of petty crime to fund their habit.

After an eight-week long trial, the jury unanimously convicted Linford Goode and Sara Kokot, the two London gang members, and later convicted Cadder and Smith, who had both turned to dealing to fund their own habits; Black and Smart admitted their involvement at an earlier stage.

DC Claire Gentles from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said:, “This gang have been handed down significant jail sentences, illustrating just how seriously the courts treat county lines offences. We know that drug dealing is closely linked with violence on our streets and we will deal robustly with those who seek to sell drugs and target vulnerable individuals within our communities for financial gain.

“This case highlights the benefits of collaborative working between police across force borders and is a particularly successful example of a trial involving the gang leaders in London and local members of the drug gang.”

DI Paul Franklin, from Wiltshire Police’s Dedicated Crime Team, said, “This was a very successful joint operation between Wiltshire Police and The Met along with the support of the Crown Prosecution Service.

“County Lines gangs from big cities are a real problem which is closer to home than some people might think. Wiltshire may seem like a quiet, leafy county but the reality is that some young and vulnerable people living in our communities are being exploited by these gangs who get them to do their dirty work.

“Also, the people purchasing the drugs, who are often vulnerable themselves, regularly commit crime to fund their habit. It's a spiral we want to help them break.”

June 15, 2019