Locked up: Teen sold crack cocaine and heroin in Shrewsbury town centre
A teenager has been locked up for two years for street dealing in crack cocaine and heroin worth thousands of pounds.
Louis Pierre, 19, blamed debts for him falling into the hands of a man who then supplied him with illegal drugs to sell in order to repay the money he owed.
He was spotted with a queue of customers by plain clothed police officers in the Castle Foregate area of Shrewsbury town centre on May 21.
Mr Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, said the defendant, fled on foot when he realised that he had been seen and threw away the drugs. But following a pursuit the officers caught him and were able to recover the 27 wraps of heroin, 36 wraps of cocaine, £260 and two mobile phones.
After his arrest a search of his home, in Whitemere Road, Mount Pleasant, uncovered even more wraps and the total confiscated was worth an estimated street value of £4,260 plus £1,025 more cash and a dealers' list of contacts.
"He told the police he had been dealing for about a month," said Mr Dickinson at the Shrewsbury Crown Court hearing.
"He has lost his job and resorted to borrowing £1,000 from a gent known as 'M1' from Birmingham who he needed to repay.
"He was supplied with 600 wraps each time."
Pierre pleaded guilty to offences of possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply and possessing heroin with intent to supply on May 21; being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine; and being concerned in the supply of diamorphine between April 20 and May 21.
He had previous convictions including for theft and assault in 2017.
Mr Adrian Roberts, mitigating, said Pierre had been in a young offenders' institution since his arrest.
"He is immature and got drawn into this activity by accident. His mother says he had a difficult childhood after his father walked out. He had been homeless in Brixton, London.
"She says since he was arrested he has shown remorse. He understands that his dealing was based on other people's misery.
"I would ask the court to be as lenient as possible," Mr Roberts said.
For each offence Judge Peter Barrie sentenced Pierre to two years detention to run concurrently. He must serve half.
The judge also ordered forfeiture of the £1,285 under section seven of the Misuse of Drugs Act, meaning there will be no proceeds of crime hearing. He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and equipment seized.
Shropshire’s Detective Chief Inspector Steve Cook said: “We know county line drug dealers are exploiting young and vulnerable people in some of our towns in the county and our absolute priority is protecting those who are vulnerable to being targeted.
“Where we have information or intelligence to suggest county lines drug dealing is taking place we will act on this and take robust action to essentially take out the line.
“Police alone cannot do this and we work closely with our partner agencies, through our serious and organised crime joint action group, to ensure everyone is playing their part.
“I hope this sentence sends a clear warning to those who are involved in county lines that we will look to pursue them and look to disrupt their organised crime network.”
Police are reminding young people concerned about county lines who do not wish to talk to police there are other options available.
DCI Cook added: “We know some young people may not want to talk to the police about their concerns and I want to let them know they don’t need to. Information can be passed anonymously to Fearless, an organisation dedicated to young people which has a host of information and advice.
"Concerns can be reported online at https://www.westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
"If you don’t want to speak to police, you can anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online https://crimestoppers-uk.org/
"They never ask your name and cannot trace your call, and you could earn a reward. Young people can pass on information anonymously and find further information and advice on the Fearless website www.fearless.org/"
If it is an emergency, a crime is in progress or life is at immediate risk always ring 999.
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