Drug dealers jailed after ‘cuckooing’ vulnerable man’s flat in Luton

Two drug dealers have been jailed after taking over a vulnerable man’s flat in Luton and using it as a base to deal heroin and crack cocaine.

Joel Mensah, 20, and Rusharn Reid-Clarke, 23, both from London, were arrested in Luton in December 2017.

Joel Mensah (left) and Rusharn Reid-Clarke (right)

Joel Mensah (left) and Rusharn Reid-Clarke (right)

Police had earlier received a report from a safeguarding officer that a vulnerable person was being ‘cuckooed’ - exploited by having his home used as a base for drug dealing.

Officers attended the address in Heswall Court, off Strathmore Avenue in Luton, where they found Mensah and Reid-Clarke as well as Class A drugs, drugs paraphernalia and mobile phones.

When in custody, officers searched Mensah and found he was in possession of additional class A drugs.

Mensah pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, and was sentenced to a total of three years in jail. He was also found guilty of possession with intent to supply heroin..

Heswall Court

Heswall Court

Reid-Clarke was found guilty of possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine and received three years in total.

Investigation Officer Lee Fassam said: “Concerns were raised about a vulnerable person being exploited – this is typical of county lines drug dealing. It’s not always obvious if someone is being exploited, but we would urge people to report any suspicious activity to us, including seeing strange people coming and going from an address.

“As a force we are dedicated to cracking down on organised crime and drugs, and keeping our most vulnerable residents safe from harm. I am pleased that these two dangerous men will now spend time behind bars, giving them time to reflect on their actions. I hope this sends a strong message that we won’t tolerate drug criminality and activity in our area.”

Anyone with concerns for their neighbours or with information about suspicious behaviour and drug criminality in their community is asked to call Bedfordshire Police on 101 or visit the force’s online reporting centre.

You can also report crime anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.