County lines drug dealer peddling crack cocaine and heroin jailed over five years

Elyass Benaziza.Elyass Benaziza.
Elyass Benaziza.
A drug dealer who ran a drug network in Hemel Hempstead has been jailed more than five years.

Dealer Elyass Benaziza, ran the well-established ‘Frank’ drug line supplying cocaine in the areas between 1 June and 10 November 2022.

Hertfordshire police arrested Benaziza in November 2022 on suspicion of an unrelated assault. During the arrest officers seized 27 grams of heroin, with an estimated street value of £2,740. More than £35,000 cash and mobile phones were also seized. The phones contained messages offering the sale of crack cocaine and heroin.

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Benaziza, aged 30, of Saturn Way, Hemel Hempstead, appeared at Luton Crown Court today (Thursday), and pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug of Class A with Intent (heroin), being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug Class A (crack cocaine) and possessing criminal property contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Detective Constable Chris Duncan said: “Benaziza ran the well-established ‘Frank’ line, which supplied heroin and cocaine to the Hemel Hempstead area. The disruption of this line will make a significant impact on drug use and associated crime in that part of the county. It also sends a clear message that drug dealing will not go unpunished and anyone involved will be caught and jailed.

“Exploitation of vulnerable young people is just one of the tragic symptoms of organised drug gangs. County lines dealers can coerce people into providing a base for dealers to operate or to act as distributers themselves. They often use young people to handle drugs and money, drawing them deeper into gang affiliation that often leads to violence and abuse.”

Information about a crime can be reported online or via the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form.