A career criminal who used a gang of women to help him sell crack cocaine in Dundee has been jailed for seven years.
Kevin Kabengele, 26, led the four females including 20-year-old Skye Hough, during a two-week period in July 2019.
On Wednesday, at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Arthurson heard how Kabengele had previous convictions for drug dealing.
Given Kabengele’s previous convictions, the law stated the accused should receive an automatic seven-year sentence.
Lord Arthurson decided, given the nature of Hough’s involvement and her background, sentence should be deferred for a further 12 months.
He told Hough, who lives in Essex, she could still go to prison.
He added: “Your future is in your hands.”
Sold crack across Dundee
At proceedings last month, Kabengele and Hough pled guilty to being involved in the supply of cocaine.
Lord Arthurson was told at the previous hearing how Kabengele and Hough booked a room at a hotel in the city where one deal was carried out.
Prosecutor Richard Goddard QC said: “The case relates to Kabengele supplying crack cocaine personally to users in Dundee and also using four women to sell on his behalf.”
Kabengele stayed at a number of addresses in the city.
During this time, he pretended his name was “Alex” to one addict buying drugs.
The same user later met Hough – known as “S” – and was told to call her if she “needed anything in the future”.
The court heard of further drug deals “supplied mostly” by one of the other females working for Kabengele.
Police were alerted in late July 2019.
Caught in England
Hough was first arrested and lied she had been forced into holding drugs for a man called “Magpie”.
She had 23 wraps of crack cocaine as well as £449.
Kabengele was caught the next day in a car on the M6 near Wigan, Lancashire.
Mr Goddard: “His mobile phone was examined and found to contain messages from users attempting to source drugs from him.”
The pair had also faced a charge under the Human Trafficking Act in which it was alleged they “exploited” a number of people to transport them between Dundee and England for crime.
Prosecutors accepted a not guilty plea to that allegation.
Kabengele, of London, was remanded in custody.
Around the time the gang was dealing on Dundee’s streets with crack cocaine, there were claims Dundee had been flooded with the super-strength drug.
Solicitor Ross Bennett made the claim at Perth Sheriff Court as his client Graeme Duncan, 40, was jailed for three years for supplying Class A drugs.
He said: “In the last year he became involved with crack cocaine.
“I don’t know about here in Perth, but in Dundee there is almost an epidemic.
“It is very, very significant there with a number of deaths recently surrounding it.”