England

Benefits Street's 'Black Dee' jailed over drugs operation

Samora Roberts Image copyright PA
Image caption Samora Roberts was known on the programme as "Black Dee"

A star of TV show Benefits Street has been jailed for seven years for possessing live ammunition and her part in "open-all-hours" drug-dealing.

Samora Roberts, known as Black Dee, was found guilty of possessing heroin and having crack cocaine for supply.

The 34-year-old ran a drugs operation in Birmingham's James Turner Street with Omari George, 22, a court heard.

He was jailed for five years and four months after admitting supplying cannabis and possessing crack cocaine.

Roberts was arrested in June 2013 after 11 .38-calibre Smith and Wesson cartridges were found during police raids.

Birmingham Crown Court heard she was "thrown into the limelight" during filming for the 2014 season of Benefits Street, and had since been reduced to "sofa-surfing" and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.

'Despicable' trade

Roberts was convicted by a jury in November last year of possessing ammunition and heroin, and two counts of possession of crack cocaine with intent to supply, having earlier admitted offences related to cannabis.

Judge Philip Parker QC told her police surveillance footage of her home between 3 May and 10 June 2013 had shown a "steady trade" of drugs being sold to customers, and described the supply of illegal substances as "a despicable offence".

"All drugs lead to a dependency of some sort," he said.

"The presence of live ammunition is deeply concerning. It shows how drugs can sometimes require other crimes to be committed in order to preserve them."

Roberts was sentenced alongside George, of Dora Road, Handsworth.

Marvin Scott, 39, who previously lived in James Turner Street but has since moved to City Road in Edgbaston, was jailed for four years for conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.

Tina Thomas, 48, from James Turner Street, received a 16-month suspended sentence after admitting supplying cannabis and possessing ammunition without a licence.

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