Hashim Malik, 21, of Carlton Crescent, Luton, was sentenced to six years imprisonment at Luton Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply a high volume of crack cocaine and heroin.
A 16-year-old boy from Luton, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received a 10-month detention and training order.
The courts heard how Malik had used a flat in Aldwyck House, a property housing vulnerable people, so that he and his juvenile accomplice could use the property as a location to supply drugs.
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A search of the property uncovered drugs including crack cocaine and heroin with an estimated street value of £32,000 and more than £3,000 in cash.
Following an investigation lasting several months, officers discovered that drug users would contact a mobile number before meeting in an alleyway, where Malik or the teen would make the exchange.
Over a two-month period the mobile had received more than 5,000 calls, equating to an average of 184 calls a day.
Detective Constable Matt Stonnell from the force’s Boson team, which led the investigation, said: “Malik and his partner in crime exploited vulnerable people in order to gain a premises to further their highly profitable drugs operation – a process we refer to as ‘cuckooing’. We will not tolerate those who seek to profit from such a damaging crime, which can have devastating effects on both those who use illegal substances and the communities in which dealing takes place.
“I am pleased that the courts have sought fit to punish both Malik and the youth for their actions and hope that this sentence will act as a deterrent to anyone involved in the supply of drugs.”