A DRUGS dealer who stood to make hundreds of thousands of pounds from selling cocaine on the streets of Wearside has been jailed for eight years.
Alexander Dobbing was given his sentence at Durham Crown Court, which heard he recruited Wayne Bruce, from Sunderland, to act as a courier.
Bruce was jailed for three years and four months.
The court was told Dobbing prepared a Vauxhall Insignia and bought three mobile phones for Bruce to use to collect the drugs from Merseyside.
Lawyers for the pair said the drugs deal was not sophisticated, and police had not uncovered any other transactions.
Judge Simon Hickey said he accepted Bruce was only a courier, but still knew what he was doing.
In addition to the jail terms, Judge Hickey confiscated the Vauxhall car.
The finances of both men will be investigated to see if any other assets they have can be seized as the proceeds of crime.
Police found the drugs after pulling over the Vauxhall driven by Bruce, which in turn led them to Dobbing.
The packages, bound in brown packaging tape, put specialist investigators on the route to Dobbing’s door after they were found in the car which had links to him.
The blocks of cocaine weighed in at 2kg and tests revealed its purity level at 73 per cent, giving them a value of £300,000.
The North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) say the high potency of the drugs led them to conclude they were destined to be diluted to a lesser purity to yield a greater profit and were likely to be sold across Wearside as well as County Durham and Northumberland. Detectives believe the eyes drawn onto the packages, found in a bag in the back of the Vauxhall Insignia pulled over at the Red Lion pub in Plawsworth, were a code to signify who the drugs were destined for.
Bruce, 32, of Cedarwood Grove in Leechmere, was arrested on September 17 and initially denied knowing the package was in the car, but changed his plea to guilty to possessing a class A drug with intent to supply in December.
Days later, on December 10, Dobbing, 35, was taken into custody on the Scottish border and later charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine, which he went on to admit.
Before his arrest, the 35-year-old was renting a large home in a luxury housing estate in Burdon Walk in Castle Eden, which has been described by police as “lavish” and featured an entertainment room, which included a cinema screen, and games room with a pool table.
Following the case, Detective Inspector Paul Colling, of NERSOU, said: “Alexander Dobbing headed this organised crime group, directing people such as Wayne Bruce to act as his courier, to transport class A controlled drugs such as cocaine into the North East region from Liverpool.
“The street value of the two kilos of cocaine is £300,000, clearly showing their level of criminality and the profits involved.
“However, the greater the profits, the greater the risk criminals face when they get caught, and we will seek to strip those convicted of their criminally gained assets.
“Drugs cause misery and organised crime is a serious problem that affects real people.
“Its impact is seen in our communities every single day.
“Hopefully, the sentencing will send the right message out to those contemplating entering a life of crime.
“Think twice before you get involved because when you get caught, you risk wasting the best years of your life in prison, with nothing but regrets for you, your family and friends.”