UK rapper kept child as slave to sell drugs then bragged about it in music video
Pushweight Bandit’s song ‘Talk Hot’ can be found on YouTube with references to “sending a young boy out to sell drugs.”
A UK drill artist has been jailed after he trafficked a child to live in filth without food, then bragged about it in one of his tunes.
Xavion Benson performed drill rap, a form of hip-hop originating in Chicago’s crime scene, whilst moonlighting as a drug dealer in Clacton, Essex.
It was here he trafficked the teenager from London, where Chelmsford Crown Court heard the boy was kept in ‘awful living conditions’ without anywhere to wash, clean, eat or drink and forced him to sell drugs.
“This is trafficking and exploitation; nothing less. It is a disgusting crime, and we were determined to pursue a conviction under the Modern Slavery Act,” said Detective Inspector James Healy, of the serious violence unit in the UK.
Benson, who released music under the name ‘Pushweight Bandit’, ran drug lines that were operating between London and Clacton between November 2021 and March 2022, supplying Class A drugs to users in the Clacton area.
He promised the boy £2,800 in payment for his “work”, though that money was never paid.
Pushweight Bandit’s song ‘Talk Hot’ can be found on YouTube with references to “sending a young boy out to sell drugs.” Cops identified Benson as the performer.
An investigation was launched when the boy’s parents reported him missing to the Metropolitan Police.
Police were able to connect the boy's phone with the numbers being used to run Peter and Zak drug lines, which were active in Clacton and already under investigation at that time.
They established who held the drug lines and Benson was arrested in March last year at his London home. Officers caught him trying to flush drugs down the toilet, in an attempt to destroy evidence.
In total, more than £2,000 worth of drugs were seized. Benson was later charged with being concerned with the supply of Class A drugs and human trafficking.
A second man, Ryan Arrowsmith, was also identified as being involved in the drug lines, as he was responsible for sending out bulk marketing messages and advertising “fat deals 2 for 15, 3 for 25 freebies.”
Arrowsmith was charged with being concerned with the supply of heroin, being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.
Benson’s conviction, under the Modern Slavery Act, is the first of its kind in Essex.
Benson was given a 67-month prison sentence and a slavery and trafficking prevention order was also imposed for seven years, which prevents him from arranging travel for anyone other than himself or a family member.
Arrowsmith was sentenced to four years and three months in jail and was additionally given a criminal behaviour order (CBO) to last for seven years.
Detective Inspector Healy described how kids get caught up with older criminals and the methods they deploy.
"It is common for more established gang members to offer acts of kindness to children to win them over. They are promised a life of money and designer clothes but they are being duped.
"Very sadly these children soon find out the reality is nothing like the promise. Instead, they often go missing for long periods of time, creating terror for their parents who have no idea where they are.
"The children will stay in squalorous conditions with little or no food and drink as they work to earn money for the gang elders.
“I am extremely proud of the team for the tireless work they have put into identifying the people responsible, arresting them and putting them before the court,” the distinguished police officer said.
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