During the 12-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the jury heard how [A] Harold Morris, aged 46, [B] Hikmet Sevim, aged 45, [C] Florina Burducea aged 39, [D] Delroy Small aged 33, [E], Shelon Morris aged 34, were arrested following a proactive, intelligence led investigation by detectives from Trident, part of the Metropolitan Police Service. The investigation revealed that they were in possession of heroin with a street value of more than £5million.
Officers began investigating in September 2009, and discovered that Shelon Morris and Small were involved in large scale drug trafficking, moving heroin into and around east London. They were operating their lucrative illegal business from a flat in Raven Row, Tower Hamlets.
The remaining defendants Sevim and Burducea were responsible for the ongoing transportation of heroin following its arrival into the country. They delivered it to Harold Morris who acted as a wholesale distributor within east London. It is believed the heroin had come from Europe via Turkey and Romania. Harold Morris is Shelon Morris’ uncle.
Small rented the flat they operated from in a false name to evade detection and the gang used vans to transport boxes of heroin to and from their customers.
On 18 September 2009, Small was stopped by police in a Volkswagen Golf. Officers recovered two kilos of heroin from his car wrapped in a bag and he was arrested at the scene. Officers then searched the flat and found a further 20 kilos of heroin, worth around £1.5 million. They also recovered over £177,000 in cash and seized a drugs ledger containing all of the gang’s customers’ details. Forensic evidence presented at court highlighted that the ledgers contained the fingerprints of both Shelon Morris and Small.
Shelon Morris, having previously left the country following the arrest of her accomplice Small, was eventually found in east London. Both were charged with drug trafficking offences and remanded in custody.
On 4 March 2010, officers observed Harold Morris taking a number of brown cardboard boxes from a blue Mitsubishi Carisma and loading them into a van which was parked in a cash and carry car park in Finsbury Park, north London. Sevim assisted Harold Morris in this task; in the passenger seat of the blue Mitsubishi was Burducea.
Officers arrested all three on the same day and recovered 96.7 kilos of heroin worth more than £5 million in cardboard boxes from the back of the van that Harold Morris was seen driving. All three were subsequently charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and remanded in custody.
The gang had a comfortable lifestyles which was funded by their criminal activity, a number of cars have been seized along with £187,000 in cash. The financial investigation is on-going.
Detective Inspector Chris Jones, from Trident, said: "Today’s convictions coupled with the seizure of such a significant quantity of heroin will have seriously undermined the activities of a number of criminal networks across London. The individuals concerned were driven by personal greed and gave no thought to the misery caused through the unlawful supply of heroin within London’s communities."
Detective Chief Inspector Kenny McDonald, also from Trident, said: "Trident continues to be at the forefront of prosecuting those individuals across London who are having the greatest detrimental impact on our communities. The convictions today are another example of the excellent and the continued partnership of Trident with local Boroughs. Together we will use all lawful means to identify and apprehend those engaged in serious criminality."
Details of defendants:
[A] Harold Morris [1.11.64 – 46 yrs] (British national) of Glyn Road E5.
Charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
[B] Hikmet Sevim [2.1.65 – 45 yrs] (Turkish national) of Thurlow Gardens, Ilford. Charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
[C] Florina Burducea (Female) [10.8.71 – 39 yrs] (Romanian national) of Pembury Hotel, Seven Sisters Road N4. Charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
[D] Delroy Small [24.7.77 – 33 yrs] (British national) of Garnham Close, Hackney, N16. Charged with drug trafficking. Found guilty of drug trafficking. Sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
[E] Shelon Morris (Female) [15.3.76 – 34 yrs] (British national) of Mare Street, Hackney, E8. Charged with drug trafficking. Found guilty of drug trafficking. Sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
+ The trial of A, B and C was originally separate to the trial of D and E but due to further evidence coming to light the trials were linked.