Regional: Bicester man sentenced for role in county lines drugs operation
A Banbury area man has been jailed for his part in a county drugs lines operation in West Oxfordshire.
Nicco Dojon Pascal, aged 28, of Bicester, was convicted at Oxford Crown Court on Friday April 16.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug of class A, namely cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, and one count of escaping lawful custody.
He was sentenced to a jail term of seven years and three months.
The counts relating to the supply of class A drugs related to incidents that occurred between April and September 2020, and the escape from lawful custody took place on August 13, 2020.
Detective Inspector Aidan Donohoe, of the Priority Crime and Tasking Team at Banbury police station, said: “The Cherwell and West Oxfordshire Tasking Team, as part of a joint investigation and with support from the Metropolitan Police, targeted a county drug line that was identified as being active in West Oxfordshire.
“The drug line was primarily based in London, and Nicco Pascal was identified as being in control of the criminal enterprise. The investigation, codenamed Operation Junior, began in June 2020.
“As our investigation was progressing into Pascal, officers from the Witney Neighbourhood Team stopped him in a vehicle at around 2.45pm on 13 August in Chipping Norton, West Oxfordshire.
“Having been detained by officers at the scene, Pascal pushed a police constable to the floor and snatched a mobile phone back that had been seized from him, before then fleeing and escaping police custody. The officer who was pushed sustained an injury to the back of her head, which required hospital treatment.
“On 5 November in 2020, Pascal was located at a property in Bicester and was arrested. He was charged on that same evening with the drug offences, and then on 16 January this year was charged with escaping lawful custody.
“Pascal was then remanded into custody until he appeared at court, where due to the weight of the evidence that officers worked hard to obtain against him, he pleaded guilty to all charges.
“He has now been sentenced to just over seven years in custody for his involvement in supplying dangerous class A drugs into communities in West Oxfordshire. His conviction and now imprisonment has had a significant impact on county drug line drug dealing in that area.
“County line offenders like Pascal exploit vulnerable drug users and young people to facilitate their criminal activity and in doing so seek to avoid traditional police enforcement efforts.
"Drug line holders base themselves outside of the counties that they are targeting, and we will continue to work jointly with police forces from urban areas to target these offenders and will use a variety of tactics to ensure we are pursuing those that sit at the top of the county line hierarchy.
“Drug dealing and county lines will not be tolerated by Thames Valley Police, and I hope that this length of sentence reflects the seriousness with which the courts view the issue of county line drug dealing in Oxfordshire. Through our stronghold campaign, we are committed to working in partnership to tackle serious organised crime and exploitation, such as county lines drug dealing.
“Pascal’s efforts to escape from lawful custody after the vehicle stop in Chipping Norton, clearly demonstrated his determination to avoid the evidence of his drug dealing being seized.
"It was a cowardly and unexpected attack which resulted in an officer needing hospital treatment for a head injury. I would also like to thank the members of the public who came to the officer’s aid at the scene.
“Pascal’s arrest, charge and now conviction is a result of excellent work from my officers to disrupt this form of criminal activity, as well as providing safeguarding to vulnerable people who are affected.
“I would also like to remind the public that we are always ready to listen and take your reports regarding any matters of drug dealing in our communities.
"Anyone with any information about drug dealing can contact us on 101, report online, or anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. All reports help police in building intelligence about perpetrators, and make all efforts to remove them from our streets and bring them to justice.”