Tackling the supply and distribution of drugs has been described as a ‘priority’ for police officers in Sheffield.
South Yorkshire Police issued the warning after Sheffield dealer Ian Heald was jailed for four years and seven months after being found with cocaine and over £45,000 in cash when officers searched his home and business premises.
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The 50-year-old’s drug empire was exposed when officers raided his home in Wharf Street, Victoria Quays and his business premises, Jic Refractory Products, in Orgreave Crescent, Handsworth, in February last year.
They recovered cocaine with a street value of around £15,000 as well as £45,430 in cash and almost £2,000 in foreign currencies.
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PC Darren McKenna, who led the investigation, said: “When we searched Heald’s home address we also found substantial amounts of cash in a variety of currencies and high value items of property including a number of Rolex watches.
“The drugs seized were sent away for analysis with specialists estimating them to have a street value of over £15,000.
“Financial investigators from Sheffield were also able to secure a confiscation order of £45,350 in cash and foreign currency under the Proceeds of Crime Act, thought to have been obtained by Heald as a result of his criminal dealings.
“This was a substantial operation for officers in the Sheffield Tasking Team and I’m pleased that we were able to recover these drugs and bring Heald before the courts.
“Tackling the supply and distribution of drugs and associated criminality is a priority for our teams and I’d urge anyone who has concerns that this could be happening in their area to speak to us.”
Heald, 50, pleaded guilty to one offence of possession with intent to supply cocaine and to two offences of acquiring criminal property.
He pleaded guilty to the charges on the basis he came into possession of the drugs and cash after a drug dealer friend fell ill and asked him to store them for him temporarily, but subsequently died. This basis of plea was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The court was told that Heald’s business was run legitimately, and was not a front for his drug-related activity.