Two men from Southampton have been jailed following an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).
The men pleaded guilty at a hearing on 22 May at Southampton Crown Court and on Monday (8/6) were sentenced to the following:
Attal Mihanpoor, aged 32, of The Dell, Southampton, was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine).
Ryan Whitfield, aged 33, of Dawlish Avenue, Southampton, was sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine).
As part of the investigation, officers from SEROCU and Hampshire Constabulary executed a search warrant on 7 July 2014 at the home address of Attal Mihanpoor. On entry the officers had to force open a steel shutter designed to reinforce the front door. Having negotiated this obstacle, officers discovered that Mihanpoor had leapt out of the first floor flat in possession of one kilogram of cocaine.
Mihanpoor was located 20 yards away where he had crawled into a doorway of a nearby property having severely injured his leg after he had leapt out of his flat window.
During a search of the flat, officers discovered and seized approximately £26,000 and two kilograms of mixing agent commonly used to adulterate cocaine.
The cocaine was estimated to have a street value in excess of £170,000.
On the same day, officers from Hampshire Constabulary stopped Ryan Whitfield in Archers Road, Southampton in possession of £43,810. Whitfield had been observed leaving The Dell with a bag earlier in the day where he then travelled to Defender Road and it is believed supplied one kilogram of cocaine prior to being stopped by Police.
Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Jenny Olden, from the SEROCU, said: “Our focus remains at identifying criminality and ensuring our communities across the South East are protected from the most serious crime.
“Throughout the investigation, we worked closely with Hampshire Constabulary to identify Mihanpoor and Whitfield and monitor their activity.
“As the investigation developed, it was clear that they were involved in the supply of cocaine in Southampton.
“We are pleased with the sentences today, which show criminals that we will protect our communities across the South East Region by targeting offenders and ensuring they are stopped from operating.”
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said: “These convictions are another reminder to those who ply their trade in illegal and mind altering substances on our streets that we will be relentless in our pursuit to track them down.
“Analysis and research has demonstrated that a buoyant drugs market leads to a significant increase in crime and violence. It is therefore essential that we continue this targeted intelligence led work with our partners and Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Fortress, to make the whole of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a hostile place for anyone involved in the supply of illegal substances.
“This latest success has helped make Southampton a safer place and all residents across Hampshire and Isle of Wight should be reassured that this work will continue.”
Southampton District Commander, Superintendent James Fulton, said: "Local police and regional agencies work together to target those who cause harm to our communities through dealing drugs. These are community priorities for our Neighbourhood Policing Teams and dealers are also targeted by specialist Hampshire resources and as can be seen in this case, fully supported by regional assets.
"Operation Fortress is well known within the city to identify and arrest drug dealers and support communities and will continue to work to help free the streets of those that cause harm. Drugs ruin lives, damage communities and those responsible should know they will be arrested and will receive significant sentences when convicted.
"It is not just a policing effort, all agencies across Southampton work together to make it a hostile environment for dealers and help support those who are affected by the blight of drugs.
"This result shows we remain committed to this cause and it will remain a high priority for enforcement and support agencies into the future."