'Chain of misery' - Drug dealer who used vulnerable children for Stevenage operation jailed

PUBLISHED: 12:54 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:54 03 July 2019

Julian Borja (29) was sentenced to seven and a half years at St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Herts Police

Julian Borja (29) was sentenced to seven and a half years at St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Herts Police

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A county lines drug dealer who used children to deliver drugs in Stevenage has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Julian Borja, 29, from Dongola Road in the Tottenham area of London, was sentenced to 7½ years at St Albans Crown Court last week, after being charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

The court heard how Borja used a team of vulnerable young people to deliver drugs and move money around his network in Stevenage, which in sentencing Judge Michael Kay described as a "chain of misery".

He was also handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order as part of his sentence, which will prevent him from becoming involved in criminal activities for at least five years after he has served his sentence.

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Borja's arrest followed an intensive investigation in November 2018 by Herts police's Operation Mantis team.

Detective Sergeant Jon Leak from the Operation Mantis team said: "Borja was head of a county lines gang operating in Stevenage where he groomed vulnerable young people and embedded them into his gang culture, exposing them to drugs and violence.

"Following months of excellent work on this investigation by the Operation Mantis team, we gathered the necessary evidence to ensure Borja's conviction, which will make a significant impact on the supply of drugs in Hertfordshire.

"We rely on members of the community to give us vital bits of information to help us protect our children and vulnerable people from these kinds of criminals, who often prey on people who lack confidence, support or family.

"Any information you can provide, no matter how small it may seem, could help us to protect your community."

If you suspect drug activity in your area you can call police on 101, or report information online here

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