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FIVE YEARS: Hemel drug dealer jailed after being caught with heroin and £35,000 cash

 Published on: 30th May 2024   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Hemel Hempstead drug dealer who was caught with £35,100 cash and £2,700 worth of heroin in the boot of a car was today (Thursday, May 30) jailed for five years three months.

Elyass Benaziza, 30, of Saturn Way, who was involved in running the Frank Drug Line, also had £740 in his pocket when was stopped driving a hired car in November 2022.

Luton Crown Court heard he was living a lifestyle that could not be reconciled with what he was being paid from his job as a motorway traffic marshal.

Prosecutor Janaka Siriwardena said Benaziza had been enjoying luxury holidays in Morocco, trips to Istanbul, the Netherlands and Belgium, and owned a high-value Audi. He shopped at Harvey Nichols and was paying £50 for a haircut.

As well as the drugs and cash, three Nokia burner phones were found in the rear passenger door pocket of the Mercedes. The phones were analysed and found to contain marketing messages advertising crack and heroin for sale.

Benaziza appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to possessing 27.4 grams of heroin with intent to supply. He also admitted being concerned about the supply of crack cocaine between June 1, 2022, and November 10, 2022, and possessing criminal property, the £35,100 found in the boot of the car. He had 19 convictions for 28 offences.

In a police interview, he claimed he was just playing a “petty role” and wanted to put food on the plates for his kids.

Defending, Jack Jennett said: “He was a worker on the Frank Line, not the owner. He says there were those above him in the chain.

“The cash and drugs in the vehicle did not belong to him and were going up the chain.”

Mr Jennett said he had expressed remorse and came from a loving and supportive family.

Jailing him, Judge Geoffrey Payne told Benaziza: “You had an operational function in the line. You must have known the extent of the operation.”

He said the drug dealing was not a victimless offence and was “a trade in human misery”.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place at a later date.

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