Five members of Birmingham’s notorious Johnson Crew street gang have been sentenced for their part in a drug-dealing operation that blighted a Birmingham suburb.

Reuben Bell (28), Junior Hewitt (22), Andre Henry (22), Dejon Collman (21) and 19-year-old Rikardo Reid were caught in a police sting after peddling heroin and crack to undercover officers who posed as drug addicts.

The four in their 20s were sentenced to between two years six months and five years after pleading guilty to a number of drugs offences at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday. Reid was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Sentencing the men, His Honour Judge Salmonsen, said: “You were part of a significant drugs-related operation, albeit at street level. This network was able and willing to deal in drugs. The supply of Class A drugs was the tip of a considerable iceberg.”

The court was told the gang used a number of pre-pay telephone lines, nicknames, cars and local “go-betweens” to protect their identities. But between February and September last year officers were able to buy heroin and crack from them.

Bell, of Crompton Road, Nechells, who had previous convictions for drugs offences, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing heroin and being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack and was jailed for five years.

Hewitt, of Cayton Grove, Erdington, claimed he was dealing to help pay off a debt and was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

Henry, of Havelock Road, Handsworth, pleaded guilty to ten counts of supplying drugs and was jailed for three years and nine months.

Collman, of Brooklyn Avenue, Aston, claimed he was trying to raise cash for electrical tools for a college course and was jailed for two years and six months for drug supply offences.

Reid, as well as his sentence, was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to three offences of supplying heroin.

Drug addict and “go-between” Andrew Campbell, 24, of Mona Road, Erdington, pleaded guilty to being involved in the supply of heroin and crack and supplying heroin and was jailed for two years and six months.

A further five men will be sentenced at a later date.