The gang’s operation unraveled after a missing person’s report was filed on the tottenham teenager, leading police to Swansea where he was operating as a drugs courier.
Six members of the crime group have now been convicted of Class A drugs supply and human trafficking charges and face lengthy jail terms.
They operated two dedicated phone lines for orders, nicknamed ‘Gino’ and ‘Gino 2’, selling drugs in London and South Wales between January and October last year.
One of the ringleaders, 28-year-old Jemy Capitao, 28, bought phone top-up vouchers just minutes before sending an advertising message reading: “The real Gino is back on bang bang.”
He went on the run after police tracked down the missing teenager boy, but was eventually caught at a hotel in Milton Keynes with his girlfriend.
Officers found £2,910 in cash which had been wedged into the handle of a hotel room’s tiny kettle.
Capitao’s younger brother, Basky, 27, was convicted at trial of involvement in the drugs operation, having taken charge when Jemy went on holiday to Dubai.
Kenneth Langrish, 36, had driven the teenage boy from Tottenham to Swindon on his journey to Wales. He had 125 packages of crack cocaine hidden in his underpants when he was arrested.
Another of the gang, Harvey Kimpton, 21, was caught with a 22-calibre pistol inside a Gucci box at his home in Harlow.
Harry King, 20, was found guilty of trafficking the teenager, and Ayyub Elaouzi, 22, admitted supplying drugs and trafficking.
“These drug dealers worked hand in hand and trafficked a vulnerable teenager from London to Wales”, said CPS prosecutor Thea Viney.
“They intended to exploit him as a drugs runner and had no consideration for his welfare as was evident from the poor condition of the address he was found at. To this day the young victim has never supplied a statement to support the investigation which, unfortunately, is a common feature of cases of this nature.
“The prosecution was able to present evidence of the close association between these defendants through clear phone analysis despite the use of Nokia burner phones. Some of this included incriminating messages found on the phones.
“We were also able to show the jury that while Jemy Capitao and his girlfriend enjoyed a summer holiday in Dubai – his younger brother Basky Capitao took complete charge of the drugs line sending out numerous adverts for Class A drugs to punters.
“The CPS recognises the harm caused to communities by drug networks using children and young people to carry out their illegal county line operations. We will always seek to prosecute such offenders where there is the evidence to do so and hope that this prosecution has resulted in taking more illegal drugs and associated enterprises off our streets.”
Langrish, from Enfield, Basky Capitao and Elaouzi, both of Waltham Cross, Jemy Capitao, from Llanelli in Wales, Kimpton of Harlow, and King, from Hertford, are due to be sentenced at Kingston crown court on July 30.
Watch: Bungling drug dealers caught with 5kg of cocaine after undertaking police on motorway