Two men from Luton will spend time in a young offenders institute after drugs worth more than £2,000 were found in a car they were in.
Jonah St Juste, 20, of Waleys Close, Luton, and Zaeon Hunter, 19 of Denmark Close, Luton, were sentenced on Monday (22 July) at Luton Crown Court.
In February 2018, officers on patrol in Hertford saw two known drug users in a car being driven by St Juste, with Hunter in the passenger seat.
As the officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary signalled for the car to stop, both St Juste and Hunter got out of the vehicle and ran from police, who caught up with them and apprehended them a short time later.
The car was searched and officers found heroin and crack cocaine, a knife in the driver’s side door, and a number of mobile phones, which were seized. The drugs were later valued by an expert as being worth around £2,240.
Hunter was also found in possession of cannabis, and when officers searched his house they found scales with traces of cocaine on them.
Bedfordshire Police’s Boson team then picked up the investigation as St Juste is affiliated to a gang based in Marsh Farm, Luton.
When interviewed, both provided no comment to questions put to them.
Detective Superintendent Duncan Young said: “Messages between the pair found on various mobile phones showed that Hunter and St Juste were involved in drug dealing, with St Juste running the operation and Hunter working for him.
"Thanks to colleagues from Hertfordshire Constabulary who spotted St Juste and Hunter in a car with drug users, and therefore stopped the car to investigate further, we’ve been able to take drugs off the streets, as well as two people involved in dealing.
“We know that organised crime groups, gangs, firearms offences and violence are directly linked to drug dealing activity, and we continue to develop our knowledge of our drugs market in Bedfordshire. Our Boson team will pursue those who are involved in this kind of criminality.
“However we are also continuing to develop alternative pathways with our partners and communities, so our young people know that there are other options available to them.
"Diverting anyone who is on the periphery of this type of criminality into something more productive is equally as important as tackling those responsible for exploiting them and introducing them to this way of life.
"As we continue to enable more pathways, we will become more and more ruthless in our approach to tackling those who continue to exploit the illicit drugs market.”
St Juste will serve two years and three months in a young offenders institute after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.
Hunter was sentenced to three years and three months detention after pleading guilty to four counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.