A GANG of London drug dealers who came to Huntingdonshire to sell crack cocaine and heroin have been jailed after being caught in a police operation.

Michael Murisa, 19, Nabil Dubad, 26, Ebenezer Baidoo, 19, and a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, travelled up from London and befriended drug users in the area.

They then persuaded some to let them use their properties as a base from where they could sell crack and heroin.

The four were jailed for a total of 12 years at Peterborough Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).

Detectives launched Operation Xander after noticing an increase of dealers in the St Neots and Huntingdon area.

On August 3, 2010 officers from the Huntingdonshire Impact Team raided a home in Sandfield Road, St Neots, arresting tenants Daniel Lindsell, 44, of Stone Hill, and Jennifer Burden, 23. Murisa was picked up in Huntingdon later the same day.

On August 9, officers targeted a property in Percy Green Place, Huntingdon, arresting tenant Adrian Walker, 37, and a 17-year-old boy from London.

Finally on August 13, police swooped on a home in Cook Avenue arresting tenant Nigel Paul, 36, and Dubad, of Conley Road, London.

A 16-year-old from London was arrested outside.

Baidoo, of Eltham Palace Road, South East London, was arrested in Peterborough on August 19.

Police seized mobile phones, cash and drugs from the properties and quickly secured a closure order on the home in Sandfield Road.

Dubad, Baidoo and a 17-year-old boy all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

Murisa, of Eltham Hill, denied conspiracy but was convicted following a week-long trial.

His 16-year-old co-defendant was convicted of possession of a class A and B drug.

The teenager, along with four other men, two aged 34, a 36-year-old and a 38-year-old all received community punishments for possession of drugs at earlier hearings.

Murisa was jailed for five years, Baidoo sentenced to three years, Dubad was given two and a half-years and the 17-year-old was locked up for 18 months.

Lindsell, Burden and Walker pleaded guilty to allowing their premises to be used for the supply of class A drugs at an earlier hearing.

Paul admitted being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

Judge Sean Enright ran out of time at the hearing yesterday, so Lindsell, Burden, Paul and Walker will be sentenced on Monday, March 26.

Detective Inspector Jon McAdam, who led the operation, said: "These dealers came up from London to befriend vulnerable drug users and set up business.

"They thought small towns such as St Neots would be a soft touch where they could make some easy money.

"They were misguided and now face a considerable time behind bars.

"The use and supply of all drugs, especially dangerous substances like heroin and crack cocaine, breed criminality and cause misery for people living nearby.

"We will not tolerate such behaviour and will continue to target people involved in such activity.

"This was an excellent operation which saw the drug scene significantly disrupted in St Neots and dismantled the London-based organised crime group which was operating in the area."