DRUG dealers from London continue to target Newbury, apparently seeing it as a soft touch.
Inner-city gangs are increasingly recruiting vulnerable local people as couriers and accomplices.
But here’s another one who reckoned without Pc Chris Eaton and his colleagues.
Corey Jones, aged 23, of St Kildas Road, Harrow, was jailed for a total of four years and four months by a Reading Crown Court judge on Monday, November 7.
He was convicted of possessing the Class A controlled drug crack cocaine with intent to supply and a similar charge involving heroin.
On October 5, Newbury-based Pc Eaton saw Jones behind Greenham Stores in Newbury.
Jones ran away and was chased and detained by Pc Eaton.
Before being detained, he threw an object into a garden, which was later recovered and found to contain 41 wraps of crack cocaine and 61 wraps of heroin.
A further 17 wraps of crack cocaine and eight wraps of heroin were found in Jones’ possession when he was in custody.
Pc Eaton has previously told this newspaper about the ‘county lines’ drug-dealing phenomenon.
City-based organised crime gangs are taking over drug networks in market towns by using telephone hotlines.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) – the UK body charged with fighting organised crime – also said in a recent report that gangs were trying to recruit vulnerable people, often children, to act as couriers and to sell drugs.
The NCA report said: “A ‘county line’ describes a situation where an individual, or more frequently a group, establishes and operates a telephone number in an area outside of their normal locality in order to sell drugs directly to users at street level.
“This generally involves a group from an urban area expanding their operations by crossing one or more police force boundaries to more rural areas, setting up a secure base and using runners to conduct day-to-day dealing.”
Pc Eaton said: “This was another ‘county line’ drug dealer from London, preying on the vulnerable addicts of Newbury.
“He spent no longer than a day in Newbury dealing drugs before he was stopped by our officers, demonstrating that police are taking a no-nonsense approach to drug dealing at any level.”
He added: “We will continue to target these dealers, seize their assets and prosecute them.”