A teenager drug dealer has been jailed after officers spotted him acting suspiciously during patrols.
Jake Newton, 18, from Selbourne Road, Luton, was sentenced on Monday at Luton Crown Court to two years and six months.
On November 1, 2018, an officer from Boson was on patrol in Luton when he recognised Newton, on a bicycle, and saw him exchange something with someone in a BMW.
As Newton left the area, the officer alerted other units nearby, asking them to look out for him. Around five minutes later, a PC on one of the force’s off-road motorbikes saw Newton in Lewsey Park. As he’d just received information over his radio about Newton being in the area, he signalled for him to stop. Newton failed to do so, eventually dumping his bike and making off on foot with the officer on the motorbike unable to follow.
Two more officers saw him make his way into an alleyway, and one got out of the car to chase him, seeing him throw a number of items into nearby bushes.
Newton was detained, and the PC who initially chased him retraced his steps and found a white pot containing a number of wraps, later identified as 33 wraps of crack cocaine.
The next day, officers from the Boson team returned to the area where Newton was seen throwing items. They found a further eight wraps in the grass, and a large knife.
Of the eight wraps, six were found to be heroin which had been cut with caffeine and paracetamol, one contained cocaine and heroin and the last was empty. When he was searched in custody, officers seized £75 and found one wrap in his pocket which matched the wraps found discarded in the grass.
He was arrested and subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine, possession with intent to supply heroin and possession of a knife in a public place.
He was sentenced to two years for possession with intent to supply crack cocaine, with the charge for heroin to lie on file. He was sentenced to six months for carrying a weapon which will run consecutively.
On sentencing, His Honour Judge Michael Evans told Newton: “Simply having a hunting knife to use as protection is not a defence, and given the current climate you should know that simply carrying knives leads to their use and serious injury or death.”
Detective Sergeant Wil Taylor from Boson said: “The crack cocaine was valued at around £400 and was packaged ready for onward supply, which demonstrates that Newton was involved in drug dealing in some capacity and was set to profit in some way. It’s not okay that young people in this county think it’s acceptable to deal drugs and carry weapons, and we will tackle this behaviour head on using a range of tactics including our proactive patrols.
“Tackling gang and gun crime, and associated criminality like drug dealing, is a key priority for Bedfordshire Police. Even just carrying a weapon is unacceptable and puts lives in danger, and I am glad the fact he had a knife was taken into account when Newton was sentenced.”
Anyone with information about gun, gang or drug criminality in their area can report it via 101 or by visiting www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report. Alternatively call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.