Basildon drug dealer jailed

A drug dealer has been jailed after officers entered a home and found him sleeping on an armchair with two mobile phones which were known to be advertising Class A drugs for sale in Basildon.

At Basildon Crown Court on Friday October 8, Tommy Aldridge was jailed for a total of 37 months after admitting two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

On August 2 this year, specialist officers from Operation Raptor South entered a home in Arundel Road, Wickford, to respond to concerns that a vulnerable person’s home had been taken over by drug dealers.

Inside, they found the 21-year-old asleep on an armchair. Directly in front of him on a table were two mobile phones, knives, a sock with golf balls inside, scales and other drug paraphernalia.

Both phones, a Nokia and a Motorola, were found to be active drug lines and were used in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

The investigating officer had proved the Nokia had contacted drug users as recently as three and a half hours before officers entered the property.

The messages also named ‘Tommy’ as the sender.

Aldridge, of Arundel Road, Wickford, was sentenced to 31 months in jail on each count, to run concurrently.

A suspended sentence was also activated, so a further six months were added to this sentence, given a total of 37 months.

PC Dan Onley, of Op Raptor South, said: “Unbeknownst to Aldridge, we had all the information we needed to convict him before we even arrested him in Wickford in August.

“The case we had against him was so overwhelming, he had no option but to admit his guilt.

“Aldridge is still young, and he has time to turn his life around and he will be given the support to do that should he want to.

“I hope he uses his time in prison to reassess his life plans. Drug dealing in Essex simply does not pay.”


Mick Ferris

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