'Smartly dressed' dealer caught out at drug den with £14k stash
A smartly-dressed drug dealer was caught out because the police were suspicious about what he was up to with a scruffy and unkempt known addict.
When Dudley man Zohabe Akbar was then followed and arrested in a shabby bedsit, he had £1,400 in cash on him and drugs worth £14,000 in his pocket and in a car parked nearby.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Akbar, 23, of Norman Street, Dudley, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply them.
He was also given a consecutive six-month sentence for handling a stolen Mercedes, which he admitted, while he was on bail for the drug offences.
Prosecutor Mr Ian Ball said that on the afternoon of August 30 last year, two police officers on duty in plain clothes in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, noticed two men in Short Street.
They were suspicious because one of them, a known drug-user, was a scruffily-dressed and unkempt white man, while the other, Akbar, was ‘of tidy appearance.’
The two of them walked to Church Road and went into a house divided into bedsits which it was known were often occupied by drug-users.
When the officers went to a bedsit at the rear of the property the door was eventually opened by Akbar, and in the sordid room they saw an Asian woman curled up on the bed.
She said was from Wolverhampton and was a user of crack and heroin, and had moved into the bedsit the day before.
While the police were there, Akbar’s two phones rang constantly, and when they were later examined there had been 34 ‘missed calls’ and eight messages from people requesting drugs.
Akbar had £1,400 in cash in his man bag, and in his jacket pocket were 12 £10 wraps of crack, while in the bedsit the officers found sets of scales, clingfilm, two more phones and the keys to two Vauxhall Corsas parked nearby.
In one of the cars they discovered a stash of drugs packaged in larger amounts of up to an ounce (28 grams).
There was just under 72 grams of crack and 76.4 grams of heroin which, if divided into £10 deals, would have had a street value of around £14,800, pointed out Mr Ball.
When he was arrested Akbar made no comment about the drugs, but claimed he had been given the car keys to look after.
He was granted bail, and in February this year the same two officers saw four people believed to be drug-users waiting around in Norman Avenue, Nuneaton, before a black Mercedes pulled up next to them.
As the officers stopped behind the Mercedes and another police car pulled up in front of it, Akbar got out and ran off, but was caught after a chase.
The Mercedes had been stolen from outside the owner’s home a week earlier and was on false number plates, said Mr Ball who added that Akbar had previous convictions for dishonesty, aggravated vehicle taking and driving offences.
Justin Jarmola, defending, said: “Mr Akbar is realistic. He knows what’s coming, it’s custody of some length.
“He was acting under the instructions of others, but he does not dispute that he became involved for financial gain.”
Jailing Akbar, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “In August last year you came to the attention of police officers because of your appearance.
“You were a smartly dressed healthy-looking young man in the company of individuals whose appearances were showing the results of taking class A drugs, and you were seeking to supply them with the drugs you had on your person and in a car nearby.
“They were drugs you were quite cynically giving to people who were showing the signs of being addicts, and you were making money from their misery.
“In the bedsit they found a young woman who was suffering the ravages of drug addiction, curled up in squalor, and you were using that bedsit as a base from which to supply misery.
“It is obvious you were conducting this trade for financial gain.”
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