"The offence arose as a result of the financial crisis"
Two Birmingham drug dealers have been jailed after they were caught with 99 wraps of heroin in a park in Northamptonshire.
Omar Farooq, aged 27, of Cherrywood Road, and Kieran Sargeant, aged 31, of Mears Drive, were caught by police in Kettering having dealt drugs.
The pair were caught following a police tip-off on September 28, 2020.
In addition to the drugs, police found them in possession of hundreds of pounds in cash and a six-inch knife.
It was reported that Farooq had gone to Kettering to visit some girls. After police found the knife in the driver’s door of their VW Jetta, Farooq claimed it was needed to cut up his food.
Earlier in October 2020, the two drug dealers appeared at a magistrates court and denied the crime.
But on October 28, 2020, at Northampton Crown Court, the pair pleaded guilty to possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply.
Farooq also admitted possession of a blade.
Farooq had been out on licence for a previous conviction for dealing Class A drugs.
Zaheer Afzal, defending, said his client had been complying with probation but the effects of the pandemic had led him back to dealing drugs.
He explained: “The offence arose as a result of the financial crisis that Mr Farooq became embroiled in, resulting in him resorting to dealing Class A drugs, something which he is totally ashamed of.”
Paul Webb told Recorder Jacob Hallam QC that Sargeant had become involved with Farooq after it was suggested he could increase his income.
Sargeant has a number of convictions for minor offences.
He said Farooq was expecting a child and was also the sole carer for his grandmother.
“He has caused great upset for other people that is just as painful for him as any sentence will be.”
Farooq’s barrister appealed for a shorter sentence due to the pandemic and the number of deaths in prison.
However, it was rejected by the judge. However, he did say he would give a 30% discount for Farooq and a 25% discount for Sargeant due to their guilty pleas.
Recorder Hallam QC said the pair’s drug dealing actions in a residential area caused much anguish and heartache for those who were addicted to the drug.
Northants Live reported that Farooq received five years for the drug offence and eight months for the knife possession. Both will run concurrently.
Sargeant was jailed for three years and nine months.