A DRUG addict with a string of previous convictions is behind bars after turning to dealing crack cocaine and heroin to fund his habit.
Jermaine Haye, 32, was stopped and searched by police after being seen leaving a property in Victoria Road North, Southsea.
Police found a lock knife, two mobile phones and £709.10 on him and Haye, who has convictions for 18 previous offences – including five robberies – was arrested.
Officers later searched the flat he had been seen leaving and found two sets of digital scales as well as 538mg of crack cocaine and 146mg of heroin.
Now he has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to two counts of possessing class A drugs, one of possessing a lock knife and two of offering to supply class A drugs.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard Haye told police during interview that the address searched was known by local users as a crack house.
He told police he had been contacted by local addicts who were looking for drugs and was acting for two people higher up in the drug dealing chain.
He said he had let users know if there were drugs at the address on their behalf.
Haye said £689 of the cash seized belonged to those dealers and the remaining money was his.
Text messages linked to drug dealing were found on the phones seized
Justin McClintock, defending, said Haye had come from a troubled background and described him as ‘easy prey’ for those higher up in the chain.
He said: ‘He was contacted by drug users and assisted them in purchasing drugs by letting them know drugs were available at the address.
‘He did this because he would get drugs in exchange for that.’
Judge Ian Pearson, sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘Your story is a familiar story of a drug user being used by those higher up in the chain
He added: ‘If a drug trafficker – and you are a drug trafficker in that sense – goes out onto the streets armed with a lock knife there can be significant risks to other persons. Those matters can escalate. Knife crime is hugely prevalent and it calls for a deterrent sentence.’
An order was made for the drugs seized and associated paraphernalia including scales to be destroyed.
A total of £689 is to be forfeited.