A man who dealt drugs to a teenage boy on the Isle of Wight has been jailed.
Police were called on 22 June this year following reports that a 15-year-old boy had been hospitalised after taking various drugs.
Enquiries led police to Brandon Atkins, who was arrested on 30 June. Examination of mobile phones seized by police indicated he had been supplying illegal substances.
The 21-year-old, of no fixed address, was subsequently charged with offences including being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B drugs.
Appearing at Isle of Wight Crown Court on 2 August this year, he pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine, being concerned in the supply of ketamine, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, and possession of cannabis.
Atkins appeared at the same court on Wednesday 1 December, where he was jailed for four years for the offences.
The court heard that Atkins was unemployed and had been dealing to fund his own drug habit.
Recorder Paul Garlick QC accepted that the teenager had been hospitalised after taking Xanax, and not as a result of the drugs supplied by Atkins, but nonetheless made clear that selling drugs to the child was an aggravating factor when passing the four year sentence.
Following the hearing, PC Mat Rumsey said: “Drug dealing causes misery to our communities and is often linked to serious harm and the exploitation on children.
“This was a serious case in which Atkins sold drugs to a child. Atkins was swiftly brought before the courts and I am pleased that he has now been given a prison sentence for his actions.
“I am very grateful to the East Cowes community who provided us with the invaluable information about issues in their area that assisted us with our investigation into Atkins.
“We encourage anyone who has information about drug dealing to please report this to us. Every small piece of information you provide helps us build up a bigger picture of the problem so we can take action and target the dealers responsible.”
Police would like to hear from anyone who believes drug-related activity is taking place in their local area. Contact police on 101 or make a report 100% anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, you can also visit Fearless.org.
Spotting the signs
Some common signs of drug dealing and County Lines activity to look out for include:
An increase in visitors/cars to a house or flat
Regularly changing residents
When you see the occupant, they may appear anxious or distracted
Substance misuse or drugs paraphernalia in the vicinity of a property
Changes in young people, for example having new unaffordable things, going missing or unexplained injuries.