Sunderland drug dealers trapped after selling cocaine and cannabis to undercover police

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TWO street dealers have admitted their part in supplying drugs to undercover police officers.

Gareth Smith and Gareth Gunn were both snared as part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Bacon, targeting drug dealers in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

A judge at Newcastle Crown Court sentenced Smith to four years in prison after hearing how he arranged cocaine and cannabis deals for an undercover officer, known as “Mel”, in July last year.

Wearing hidden recording equipment, the officer went to the Galleys Gill area of Sunderland, where drug deals were known to be taking place.

She found Smith and asked if he could get her some cocaine and cannabis.

He made a call and they met up with three men who handed over a bag of white powder costing £40.

Tests later revealed it was cocaine, which was just nine per cent pure.

Smith also rang Gunn to arrange the cannabis deal.

The court heard how Gunn drove up in a black people-carrier and handed “Mel” a wrap containing nearly seven grammes of cannabis.

The 28-year-old of St John’s Vale, Pennywell, sold cannabis to “Mel”’ and a second undercover officer, identified as “Stu”, days later and said he could get larger amounts with more notice.

But when he was called on August 31, Gunn said he was no longer dealing and was just doing it for a friend.

He was arrested on March 9, when police found cannabis on him and four mobile phones.

At an earlier hearing, Smith, 26, of Hylton Road, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis on July 23 and possession of cocaine with intent to supply on November 2.

Smith was charged with the third offence after police raided an address he was living at and found 25 wraps of crack cocaine, £300 and five mobile phones.

Gunn also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to supplying cannabis on three dates in July.

Defending Gunn, Julian Smith said: “He is no longer using cannabis to anything like the same extent and has moved away from those who persuaded him to be that so more involved in the drugs culture.”

Defending Smith, Andrew Finlay said he had been involved with low-level dealing, but was not using drugs.

“When he was happened upon by the test purchase officer in July he knew the people she needed to speak to and arranged for her to do so,” he added.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Guy Whitburn QC imposed two four-year sentences and a 12-month sentence, to run concurrently.

Gunn was given a 51-week sentence, suspended for two years, with 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Twitter: @janethejourno