This afternoon (Thursday 4 October) Zakaria Mohammed, 21, was sentenced to 14 years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court after he admitted four drugs conspiracy charges, and five Modern Slavery Act offences.
It is the first time modern slavery legislation has been employed to bring a successful prosecution for the exploitation and trafficking of children who have been used to deal drugs.
Welcoming the sentence, the Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said:
The exploitation of vulnerable children in any form is totally unacceptable and today’s sentence highlights that those committing these appalling crimes will face tough sentences.
As a government we are determined to crack down on County Lines, disrupt the networks devastating communities and stop the perpetrators.
Alongside using modern slavery legislation to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes, our new National County Lines Coordination Centre will significantly strengthen the law enforcement response to this issue and enable police forces to work together to tackle a crime that crosses regions.