A MAJOR player behind the supply of crack cocaine and heroin in Portsmouth has been jailed for six years.
Austin Mitchell was arrested during a raid on a house in Northern Parade, North End.
Police found 125 wraps of heroin and 45 of cocaine, worth a total of £3,500, during the search.
The officers also uncovered £2,400 and found text messages relating to drug dealing on the 24-year-old’s phone.
Their investigation revealed Mitchell had been bringing class A drugs into Portsmouth for four months, between October and January last year.
Jailing him for six years and three months Judge Susan Evans QC said some of the text messages found on his mobile phone referred to ‘kilos of drugs’, which she said showed how involved he was in the supply of drugs.
‘I take the view that you had a significant role,’ she said.
‘You were involved in the management of the chain and this was a significant operation. You were dealing with large amounts of drugs.’
Mitchell, of Wanborough Drive, Roehampton, London, initially denied having anything to do with the drugs.
But he changed his plea to guilty to a charge of conspiracy to supply class A drugs before the start of his trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
He would regularly travel to Portsmouth from London to give the drugs to others further down the chain to sell on the streets.
Eastern Area Superintendent Darren O’Callaghan urged anyone with information about drug dealing to call the police.
He said: ‘The experience and expertise of police protected innocent and vulnerable people from the dangers of drug abuse as this man was a major player in the supplies for Portsmouth.
‘Anyone seeking to take his place should be warned that Hampshire Constabulary remains relentless in targeting similar suspects. Recent warrants and arrests underline our commitment.
‘Police are always grateful for information from the public about illegal drugs activity. I would remind people to call us on 101.’
There will be another court hearing when the Crown Prosecution Service will try to claw back some of the money Mitchell made peddling drugs.