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A drug dealer has been jailed after trying to evade police and committing further drugs offences while under investigation.
Officers from Operation Raptor, Essex Police’s specialist team targeting drugs gangs, were patrolling Purfleet on the evening of July 2 last year when they saw a Mercedes travelling at speed through a housing estate.
It appeared to be trying to avoid them and eventually pulled over in Wood Avenue, but the driver, William Mulenga, ran off.
He threw items from his pockets along the way, but was caught off Arterial Road.
Officers searched him and found wraps of drugs. They then searched for the items he had thrown, and recovered a mobile phone with drugs marketing messages, and two more wraps.
The wraps were later found to contain a mixture of cocaine and ketamine, and one wrap had cannabis in it.
Mulenga was released under investigation while further enquiries were carried out.
But he was arrested again on December 13 after officers from the Thurrock Town Centre Team spotted him in Caspian Way, Purfleet, standing outside a Toyota Prius with a cannabis joint on the ground next to him.
Mulenga gave a false name and when officers searched the car, they found cocaine with a street value of around £200 and a mobile phone.
He had £196.70 in cash on him, which was also seized.
The 28-year-old, of Schoolfield Way, Grays, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Monday January 18.
He admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and possession of cannabis.
He was jailed the same day for two-and-a-half years. The mobile phones and drugs seized will be destroyed, and £196.70 seized will also be forfeited.
PC Joe Gillman said: “Our investigation showed Mulenga was running the Rico drug line between the end of June and mid-December last year.
“His efforts to try and avoid arrest failed twice and he has now lost his freedom.
“We continue to track down those trying to sell drugs in our communities and make sure they can’t earn money by taking advantage of other people’s misery.
“Anyone thinking it’s an easy way to make money should think again.
“The moment you get involved in drug dealing, you not only risk being caught and losing your freedom but you are at risk of reprisals from rivals, and the serious levels of violence that gangs use. “It’s not worth your life or that of your loved ones.
“Working together with communities is vital in tackling violent crime and I urge anyone with information to contact us or Crimestoppers.”
You can submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.
Alternatively, you can call 101.
Information can also be given to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org