Watford drug czar jailed for over five years in county line operation

Thomas Hogan was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court for supply of Class A drugs as part of a county line operation.

Thomas Hogan was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court for supply of Class A drugs as part of a county line operation. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

A persistent drug dealer operating a county lines gang in Watford has been jailed for more than five years.

Thomas Hogan, 25, currently of HMP Bedford, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on October 8 for playing a significant role in The Humza Line, a mobile phone operation dealing in heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

The defendant, who is already serving a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence, has 13 previous convictions, including two for possessing a bladed weapon.

Yet, between April 1 and May 22 he continued supplying Class A drugs, and committed three further offences.

When arrested and interviewed on June 2, Hogan made “no comment” to police, but has since pleaded guilty to the crimes.

The court heard he played a significant role in a major drug dealing operation to supply Class A and B drugs.

Hogan wrote to the court pleading remorse for his actions, and revealed how he had been beaten up by other dealers because he was on their patch.

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His family, friends and partner also wrote letters to the judge saying the defendant was a caring, pleasant young family man with a baby and two other children for whom he is a father figure.

But Judge Kay QC dismissed the character references, and told Hogan: “There are a series of letters which I have read. They find you to be a caring, pleasant young man. So many times I have heard the same... I don’t find it mitigation at all.”

He said: “What is plain is you were a significant cog if not wholly in control of a county lines drug operation... which are insidious, disruptive and bring misery.

“They involve teenagers being sent out on the streets and taking risk. It is an evil in our society and you have chosen to be part of that for your own gain.”

He highlighted how even after Hogan was given a suspended sentence for previous drugs offences, within a short period he was dealing again.

A spokesperson for Herts police said: “Drugs and associated criminality can have a hugely negative impact on our communities and we are dedicated to disrupting this type of crime and bringing those involved to justice.

“If you have any information about individuals who may be associated with drug activity, please report it to us.”