A man has been jailed for possessing more than £51,000 of class A drugs in Southampton as part of a police crackdown on county lines networks.
Yesterday (18 May), at Southampton Crown Court, Mohammed Artan, 36, from Golden Grove, Southampton, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine.
He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and for the drugs and paraphernalia seized by police after his arrest to be destroyed.
During County Lines Intensification Week, a national week of action to disrupt county lines drug dealing networks, officers from Southampton’s High Harm Team carried out a warrant at an address in Centenary Plaza, Southampton, on 11 March this year.
At around 8.15am in the morning, officers forced their way into the property so as not to alert anyone inside of their arrival who could then destroy any evidence.
Artan, who was inside the property, was detained while a search of the premises was carried out.
During the search, one of the officers noticed a loose ceiling tile by the front door and moved it out of the way, revealing a large clear bag filled with white powder.
A full search of the ceiling cavity also revealed digital scales, cling film and other substances believed to be Class A drugs.
Artan was then arrested.
Tests revealed the substances were cocaine and crack cocaine with a street value of £22,700 and heroin with a street value of £28,700, totalling £51,400.
Another substance was found to be a cutting agent used in drug production.
DC Andrew Ferguson from Western Investigations was the officer who led the case.
He said: “Drugs, especially Class A drugs, cause massive harm to our community. As well as the damage it can cause to the life of the person taking them, the production and supply of drugs brings with it organised crime, serious violence, possession of firearms and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children.
“Artan was a link in the supply chain which has been broken now he has been put behind bars.
“County Lines Intensification Week is a more high-profile example of the work we do all year round in Southampton, particularly by our High Harm Team, to disrupt drug dealing in the city.
“We hope this sentencing shows that as a force we will do all in our power to get offenders to court and make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a safer place to live.
“I would also urge anyone with information about drug dealing in their neighbourhood to report it to us so we can carry out warrants like this and arrest offenders.”
To report information, call police on 101, visit our website or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.