A Gillingham drug dealer has been jailed for four years thanks in part to the nose of a Kent Police dog.
Hassan Sheekh was stopped for a search in a town centre car park after a patrol from the Medway Community Policing Team became suspicious of his movements, and the movements of some of his associates.
As the officers searched each of the men, Police Dog Piper sniffed out 15 wraps of crack cocaine in the back of a Ford Fiesta, next to where Sheekh had been sitting.
The 26-year-old, from East Ham, London, was found guilty of possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday 14 December 2021.
On the afternoon of 9 April 2018, officers from the Medway Community Policing Team were travelling in James Street when they noticed the Fiesta heading in the other direction.
The officers had previously received reports that it was linked to drug dealing and safely turned around their patrol car with a view to pulling the suspect vehicle over.
They initially lost sight of the Ford but found it unattended in a James Street car park a short time later. After a short wait, Sheekh returned to the car with Clinton Osuji. Immediately after they got inside, they were stopped for a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The constables were assisted in their search by PD Piper, who uncovered 15 wraps of crack cocaine in a cling film bag next to the door where Sheekh had been sitting.
Both men were taken into custody for a further search and during these checks 12 wraps of heroin and one wrap of crack cocaine was found in Sheekh’s possession.
A mobile phone, seized from a different associate as part of wider enquiries, also continued to ring. Officers answered it on four occasions and in three of the calls drug users requested ‘dark’ and ‘light’ substances.
An additional search of Osuji’s home address led to a further 145 wraps of crack cocaine, and 51 wraps of heroin, being seized.
To provide the courts with the best possible evidence, it was initially necessary for officers to release each of the offenders on bail.
While they were on bail, further analysis of the seized phone revealed the men were actively involved in supplying class A drugs across Medway.
Forensic enquiries also found traces of each man’s DNA on the seized drugs.
No place for drug dealers
Detective Constable Mark Donovan, from Kent Police’s County Lines and Gangs Team, said: ‘Sheekh has found out the hard way that Kent is not a destination for aspiring drug dealers to operate.
‘Our officers are continually receiving new information on the supply of class A drugs and are well versed in the underhand tactics drug dealers use. They also have in depth knowledge on issues impacting the communities they patrol and know how to spot even the most discreet signs of drug dealing.
‘This case is yet another example of them acting quickly on information they receive and achieving positive results.’DC Mark Donovan
- Osuji, 24, from Gillingham, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 14 December 2021 to 23 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He had previously admitted possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.