Sniggering young dealers from Kettering and Corby ran drug hotline with 'hundreds' of customers

The gang filled the void left after another conspiracy was smashed
Joshua Groom and Anthony Turigel have been jailed for drugs offences that took place across Kettering. Image: Northamptonshire Police / National WorldJoshua Groom and Anthony Turigel have been jailed for drugs offences that took place across Kettering. Image: Northamptonshire Police / National World
Joshua Groom and Anthony Turigel have been jailed for drugs offences that took place across Kettering. Image: Northamptonshire Police / National World

Four young men ran a crack cocaine and heroin dealing phone line for customers across Northamptonshire.

The men ran the Ocean Line, which was set up to fill the void after police smashed apart a wider Kettering conspiracy being run through a local pub early last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They were caught out after police found nine phones showing they were selling £10 ‘deals’ of the class-A drugs to hundreds of people.

Members of the gang sniggered and chatted throughout a crown court sentencing hearing, covering their faces at times when they laughed uncontrollably.

The men were:

Joshua Edward Groom, 24, of Markby Road, Birmingham but formerly of Linden Avenue, Kettering

Jokubas Pavilonis, 23, of Hazelwood Road, Corby

Anthony Turigel, 19, formerly of Princes Street, Kettering but now of Normanton, Derby

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Olatide Nathan, 21 formerly of Northampton, but now of High Street, Weston Favell

They appeared before a judge at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday (March 7) to be sentenced.

The court heard how, on March 23 last year, cops shut down a major Kettering drug ring called the Real AM line and made several high-profile arrests. But one

phone from that gang was not recovered.

Later that month officers arrested Turigel and Pavilonis in Cambridge Street near Turigel’s house. When they searched the home they found scales, cash and drug paraphernalia. Under a sofa was the last known phone from the Real AM line, which had been renamed the Ocean Line and was being used by the gang to sell drugs to the same customers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Turigel was released but continued to deal drugs and was arrested again in June. A search uncovered several more mobile phones.

In August Nathan, Pavilonis and Groom were stopped in a Mazda in the car park of the Premier Inn in Corby, and more phones were found.

Recorder Samuel Skinner was told that Turigel and Groom were ‘middle managers’ of the line and were trusted with the phone by those running the outfit. Pavilonis was running drugs around the area for them.

Nathan was caught separately, when undercover officers in Wantage Road, Northampton, spotted him and another man acting suspiciously. When he spotted them he threw a package containing 41 wraps of cocaine under a van. He was also carrying £420.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mitigating for three of the defendants, advocate Liam Muir said: “The people who run these conspiracies find young men who will hold the phones for them because they know the risk holding that phone carries.

"That’s why we find these men in their late teens and early 20s with few previous convictions holding these drug phones.

"Drug dealers know how easy these young men are to take advantage of.

"Turigel has been in local authority care from the age of 14.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Muir said Nathan had previously been sentenced to a community order for carrying a knife in 2022 in Finedon.

The court was told that Groom had been in care since he was 15 and had had a ‘difficult time’ as a teen. He had also recently become a father.

He had previously been convicted of punching a female victim who was lying on the floor in Gold Street, Kettering, seven times in the face and was subject to a suspended sentence while he committed the drugs offences.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Turigel, Pavilonis and Groom pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin between March 1 and Jun 20, 2023.

Groom also admitted a count of cannabis possession.

Nathan pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply Class-A drugs.

Sentencing the men, Recorder Skinner said: “There was a drug supply network being run in Kettering in early 2023.

“A number of lines were being used to supply drugs but police broke up that network.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"One of the phones was not found and seized by police. The police thought they had prevented further supply of Class-A drugs in Kettering but you three defendants took up the mantle of supplying Class-A drugs and began the Ocean Line.”

Recorder Skinner said the drugs were never recovered, but that nine separate phones showed messages being sent to ‘hundreds’ of customers offering £10 deals.

“Turigel and Groom you were middle management,” he said.

"Pavilonis you were working on the streets as a street dealer and runner. You were further down the chain.”

Turigel was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

Groom was given three years and nine months in prison.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both men will serve half of their sentence before they are released.

Pavilonis was given a two year sentence, suspended for 21 months, and ordered to complete unpaid work in the community as well as rehabilitation requirement days. He has already served several months in prison on remand. The judge said he was

Nathan was given a two year sentence, suspended for two years as well as unpaid community work. He will be subject to GPS trail monitoring which will see his movements tracked in real time.

The judge said that he was taking an an ‘exceptional course’ when sentencing Nathan as he had heard a positive report from the probation service and he believed that there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in his case. He had already spent seven months in custody since he was arrested.

The men laughed as they were taken out of the dock.