Officers from Operation Raptor North, one of our teams who specialise in dismantling drugs gangs, carried out a warrant at a bedsit off Marine Parade East, Clacton, on 4 June last year.
They were investigating the Yardies drug line and seized heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of about £1,300.
Drug dealers had exploited a woman living at the flat and taken over her home to sell drugs against her will.
Zak Gee, Jason Hood and Ben McGarity were among the people found by police at the property and were arrested.
All three were charged with possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent supply.
McGarity was also charged with possession of cannabis.
Hood and McGarity admitted the charges in July last year, and Gee admitted the offences in February this year.
All three were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday 14 April.
Gee, 27, formerly of Woolacombe Way, Hayes in west London, was jailed for a total of four years for the Essex offences and separate drugs offences in Reading.
Hood, 39, of Spenser Way, Jaywick, and McGarity, 27, of no fixed address, were both jailed for three years and nine months.
Investigating officer PC Mark Dundon said:
“Gee, Hood and McGarity were part of a drugs line that took advantage of a vulnerable woman by taking over her home to set up a base from which to sell drugs.
“This is a common tactic used by drugs gangs, who use manipulation, intimidation and threats of violence to exploit vulnerable people and children.
“They use the same methods to control their own gang members and assert authority over rivals.
“Whichever way you look at it, it’s a cycle of fear and these three men knew what they were involved in and the consequences.
“If you are concerned about drug dealing in your community or are worried someone you know is being used by drug dealers, please tell us so we can investigate.”