Jail for dealers who kept drugs in mouth

BEHIND BARS Landa Nzinga, left, and Scott Devereaux
BEHIND BARS Landa Nzinga, left, and Scott Devereaux
One of the seven stolen signs from the Isle of Wight. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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DRUG dealers were caught red-handed selling heroin and cocaine after police went undercover.

Officers posed as users to get to criminals who sell Class A drugs.

On one occasion an undercover officer arranged to meet with Landa Nzinga at Gladstone Place in Buckland and the 19-year-old removed a batch of heroin from his mouth.

Nzinga, of Wingfield Street, Buckland, and Scott Devereaux, 33, of Cherry Tree Avenue, Cowplain, were sentenced to jail at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday following a huge police crackdown on drug dealers, called Operation Raft.

More than 60 officers took part in executing warrants in February and March in a bid to bring criminals to justice.

Nzinga and Devereaux are just two of those convicted and several more could face prison sentences.

The court heard an officer requested crack cocaine in a telephone call and later met up with Devereaux.

Louisa Bagley, prosecuting, said: ‘He removed the clingfilm wrap from his mouth. He was paid £30 and gave him £5 change.’

Nzinga was contacted on October 9, 11 and 12 last year and each time heroin or cocaine was supplied.

Ms Bagley said: ‘The same undercover police officer contacted a drug number on October 9.

‘Twenty pounds of brown (heroin) was requested by the officer. He was directed to go outside Gladstone Place outside the community centre. He was met by this defendant who was carrying the heroin in his mouth.’

The court heard both had previous convictions – 36 for Devereaux, mainly involving possession of cannabis, and eight for Nzinga, also mostly cannabis-related.

Devereaux committed the offence while out on licence from prison for a previous conviction of supplying Class A drugs. Nzinga committed the offence while on conditional discharge for another offence.

Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘Anyone who has been dealing with Class A drugs must expect to be dealt with severely.’

Devereaux was given a two-year prison sentence, while Nzinga was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution.