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Major Drug Operation Dismantled: Trio used teenagers in taxis to transport drugs

Updated: May 19


Image credit: Derbyshire Police

Derby Crown Court has sentenced three men for their roles in operating a notorious drug line known as "The American D".


This line was active in the Stockbrook and Normanton areas from December 2022 to July 2023.

Nickai Pearman, Kani Dilworth-Stovall and Kwame Wolffe were found guilty of running this operation, which used children aged 15 and 16 as street dealers. These teenagers were coerced into distributing heroin and crack cocaine across the city, with the gang arranging taxis to facilitate their movements and direct their selling activities.


The police initiated their investigation following a raid in Normanton in March 2023, where officers discovered significant quantities of drugs. This led to the arrest of two teenagers under suspicion of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply. Further inquiries revealed they were linked to "The American D".


Subsequent searches and warrants across Derby and Northampton in December 2022, March 2023, and July 2023 resulted in more arrests and the seizure of large amounts of drugs, weapons, and cash. In one instance, a missing teenager's return home led to the discovery of a phone that connected them directly to the drug line.


Evidence showed that the gang tightly controlled one of the young dealers, using text messages to direct his actions. The operation culminated in targeted police raids on 20 July, where Pearman, Dilworth-Stovall, and Wolffe were apprehended. Officers seized cash, drugs, and phones during these operations.

On 24 April 2024, the court handed down its sentences:

  • Nickai Pearman, 25, received a nine-year prison term.

  • Kani Dilworth-Stovall, 23, also received nine years.

  • Kwame Wolffe, 35, who had a prior offence from 2019, was sentenced to seven years and ten months.


Detective Inspector Kane Martin, of the criminal exploitation team, said: “This was a complex county lines drugs conspiracy, and highlights the heartless tactics used by drug dealers to exploit vulnerable children. We will continue to work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.


“Drug dealing has a devastating impact on our communities and the lives of people involved. This case serves as a reminder about the consequences and the importance of our ongoing work to tackle it.”

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