A 32-year-old man from Watford has been jailed for his role in a drug gang dealing cocaine across the south east.

Babucarr Mboob, of Ross Crescent, Watford, was sentenced to 44 months at St Albans Crown Court today after being convicted of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

His was the second in command, operating a Hertfordshire-based gang dealing to customers in an area from Great Missenden in Bucks to Hatfield and Wood Green in north London.

The gang was headed up by Jordan Raeburn, now 28, from Sitwell Grove in Stanmore, who was jailed earlier this year for 44 months after pleading guilty to the same charge.

Two lower level drug runners were also sentenced today.

Sentencing them, Recorder Allison Hunter KC said: “Supplying drugs leads to addiction. In certain cases it can lead to death or it can lead to people being drawn into criminality as you have.”

The small drug ring had two runners who both pleaded guilty to the offence. Abdirahman Abdirahman, 24, of Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware, was sentenced to two years’ prison suspended for two years. He must complete 36 rehabilitation days and abide by a six-month curfew between midnight and 8am.

Jessica Shayler, 22, of Goldings House, Hatfield, also received a two year sentence suspended for two years. She must complete 180 hours’ unpaid work, 18 rehabilitation days, and abide by a six-month curfew between 10pm and 6am.

Prosecutor Mike Hollis said Abdirahman and Shayler took their orders from Raeburn. Sometimes Mboob took control.

Shayler was the first to be arrested, in April last year. Her phone was seized and the police found messages dating back to December 2021 directing her to postcodes to deliver cocaine.

A month later Abdirahman was arrested when the police stopped a Corsa. Sixteen wraps of cocaine and £460 cash was seized. Two phones were examined that showed he was in regular contact with Raeburn.

Also that month, Raeburn was seen driving a Mercedes in Watford. He ran off when the police stopped him. Mboob, who was in the passenger seat, was arrested.

Dan Taylor, for Mboob, said he had a supervisory role in a “relatively small operation” with only two runners. He said he had been a drug user at the time and did not gain a significant financial advantage.

Mr Taylor said he had been out of trouble for 10 years but, after his marriage ended, restarted friendships “with the wrong crowd” and began to drink and take drugs regularly.

For Abdirahman, Twanieka Alcindor said he was acting under the direction of others. She said there was no drug paraphernalia at his home. She said he had completed a railway engineering course and had abstained from drink and drugs for over year.

Stephen Sweeney, for Shayler, said she had played a small role. He said she was young and had been “seduced, exploited and used.”