Man given 18-year sentence for drugs offences

Image above: Heroin was seized at Mensah’s home

A man has been sentenced to 18 years in jail after Metropolitan Police officers investigating drugs supply linked him to the sale of one kilogram of heroin.

On Friday, 17 December, Kehinde Mensah, 35, from Shepherd’s Bush, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court as follows; the sentences to run concurrently.

  • Conspiracy to supply heroin – 18 years
  • Possession with intent to supply heroin – 11 years
  • Possession with intent to supply cocaine – 11 years
  • Possession with intent to supply crack cocaine – 5½ years
  • Possession of criminal property, specifically cash – 3 years

The conviction is the result of work by the Met Police’s Specialist Crime Unit on ‘Operation Eternal’. The unit launched an investigation into drug supply activities they came across on Encrochat, a Europe-based communications network and service provider used primarily by organized crime.

Police infiltrated the network in 2020 during a Europe-wide investigation. An unidentified source associated with EncroChat announced in June 2020 that the company would cease operations because of the police operation.

The Specialist Crime Unit investigated the drug supply activities of someone with the Encrochat handle ‘Bubatunde’. The messages established that this character was involved in the supply of Class A drugs, documented with the purchase and sale of one kilogram of heroin.

A thorough police investigation was able to attribute the Enchrochat handle ‘Bubatunde’ to Mensah, linking his address and phone number to the device and on 28 January 2021, a warrant was executed at Mensah’s home address and more than two kilograms of cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine, and almost £15,000 cash, was found.

Mensah was detained at the scene, charged and remanded in custody.

Shortly before his trial, a man handed himself into police claiming that the drugs found at the property were his. Police investigations into this man’s claims revealed a ‘crib sheet’ on his phone detailing what he should say to officers and further enquiries provided evidence to challenge his account. The jury later accepted that he had falsely claimed responsibility to alleviate the focus on Mensah.

Mensah pleaded not guilty to all charges and appeared at Isleworth Crown Court to stand trial. On Monday 6 September he was found guilty of conspiracy to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply heroin, possession with intent to supply cocaine and crack cocaine and possession of criminal property, specifically cash.

Since launching in the summer of 2020, Op Eternal has resulted in more than 600 arrests, 1156kg Class A drugs recovered and 75 convictions.

Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said:

“Thanks to the thorough investigation by DC Anthony Dunne of the Op Eternal team, the evidence gathered against Mensah was overwhelming and the sentence he has been given reflects both the severity of his actions and his refusal to take responsibility.

“We know there is an inextricable link between drugs and violence in our communities. Our work to disrupt all routes of drug supply and prosecute those involved continues to be central to our work to tackle violence on London’s streets.”

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