A drug dealer has been jailed for five years after Colchester local policing team officers uncovered crack cocaine and a live firearm in a carefully planned strike.
Farad Aitchegou, 52, was immediately detained after nine officers executed a warrant at his address in Jack Andrews Close, Colchester, in January last year.
The strike followed intelligence gathered suggesting Aitchegou was dealing drugs from this address.
A search of the property uncovered a large quantity of crack cocaine, valued at £2,000, and cannabis, valued at £850.
A live firearm, stashed within a rucksack behind a sofa, was also seized.
This was later found to be a bored-out starting pistol capable of firing live ammunition.
Live ammunition was discovered within the same rucksack.
Although Aitchegou was known to be unemployed, a large amount of designer clothing, watches and new digital items such as televisions and mobile devices were noticed around the address.
Items such as digital weighing scales and a bundle of small, plastic dealer bags were also seized, along with a quantity of cash.
Evidence swiftly gathered, our officers were able to quickly prepare the case for presentation to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that same evening.
Aitchegou was charged with possession with intent to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
Following further work with the CPS, further charges of possession of a firearm and live ammunition were later authorised.
Due to the evidence gathered against him, Aitchegou later pleaded guilty to each of the charges.
Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday 30 January, he was sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment.
'Another dangerous weapon off our streets'
Detective Sergeant Matt Harmer, of Colchester Local Policing Team, said:
“This operation, from the initial strike on the address to the presentation of the case to the CPS, was conducted entirely by Colchester’s local policing team. “This ran alongside the team’s day-to-day work responding to emergencies across the district. “Although there is a significant demand on our team and on policing generally, we are dedicated to our roles and never lose sight of the importance of building concrete cases against serious and committed criminals. “Tackling drug dealing and the violence so often associated with it is a priority for us in Colchester. “This work, intelligence-building and coordinated action to apprehend those involved in this horrible trade, is ceaseless and continues behind the scenes every day. “For us, this is yet another offender and another dangerous weapon taken off our streets and a good result.”
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