A drug dealer from Watford and his accomplice who took over a family home to use as a base to sell Class A drugs have been jailed for a collective total of more than nine years.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Shaquille Johnson and Rhys Morar, both aged 27, took over the family home in Loughton in August 2017 to deal drugs in a practice known as “cuckooing”.
Acting on intelligence officers from Essex Police secured a warrant to search the home in Loughton on Friday August 4 2017.
As officers approached the home they saw Morar and Johnson walking away from the front door, and both ran off.
Both were caught and searched and both were found to have mobile phones and cash.
Officers then searched the cuckooed property where inside they found two bags of cannabis; wraps of the Class A drugs crack cocaine and heroin; various mobile phones; and drug paraphernalia.
Forensic analysis of the mobile phones also linked the pair to the supply of Class A drugs.
Johnson of Caractacus Cottage View in Watford and Morar of Whittle Close, Walthamstow, East London, were both charged with two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
Johnson was found guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court while Morar admitted the charges.
Johnson was jailed for 54 months while Morar was jailed for 59 months following a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday January 16.
Det Sgt James Paget said: “Drug dealers, like Johnson and Morar, are ruthless by their very nature.
“They prey on the vulnerable, exploiting those who are reliant on substances and in cases such as this taking over homes to be used as drug dealing bases.
“However it is the job of Essex Police to safeguard and protect the vulnerable and put drug dealers behind bars where they belong, as we have done in this case.
“We will continue to protect and serve the people of this county and take the fight to drug dealers to make Essex the last place they want to come.”