Sunderland drugs dealer jailed after undercover police sting
A drugs dealer is beginning more than two years behind bars after an undercover sting which has ended with the jailing of 20 Class A suppliers.
Paul Richards, 26, of Percy Street, Hetton, was locked up for two years and four months at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.
He was part of a gang who were supplying cocaine and other Class A drugs in Newcastle city centre bars and nightclubs during 2017.
Four venues were closed and 50 people arrested after the undercover Operation Doncaster was launched by Northumbria Police in response to traders’ concerns.
Plain-clothed officers bought drugs directly off bouncers, promoters and bar staff while others gave them phone numbers of dealers who would then drive into the city centre to sell drugs. Richards pleaded guilty to supplying a Class A drug and was jailed on the final day of a lengthy investigation.
Chief Inspector David Picket afterwards slammed the “glamorisation of cocaine” which led to a growing culture of drug use in the city centre.
He added: “Known drug dealers were afforded celebrity status.
“They didn’t pay entry, didn’t queue, were seated in VIP areas and given free drinks.
“Whether they were selling drugs themselves, or passing on numbers of street dealers, these men were complicit in the widespread supply of Class A drugs.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing can call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.