A drug dealer has been locked up for nearly five years – after he was caught with £3,000 of class A drugs at his home the day before he was due in court on other charges.
L’mel Harding, 19, of Green Pasture Close, Osmondthorpe, was sentenced to four years and ten months in prison when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court and pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply.
He was arrested when officers from Leeds District Quartz Team, a specialist unit tackling gun and drug crime, executed a warrant at a house he was living at in Oxton Way, Burmantofts, on June 23.
Officers found 187 wraps of crack cocaine worth £2,790 on the bed and seized £2,166 in cash.
An amount of heroin was also found, bringing the total value of recovered drugs to just over £3,000.
Drugs paraphernalia were found in the kitchen which suggested Harding had produced the crack himself from cocaine. A number of mobile phones were also seized along with a set of digital scales.
He was interviewed by officers but refused to answer any questions and was subsequently charged to appear at the crown court.
Harding has previous drugs convictions and had been due to appear at crown court on separate drugs charges the day after he was arrested.
Detective Inspector Jaz Khan, from Leeds District Quartz Team, said: “Harding is clearly someone who, despite his relatively young age, has been heavily involved in the illegal drugs trade.
“Drugs cause significant damage both to the lives of individuals and in our communities where they fuel crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Those who choose to take part in the production and supply of these drugs can expect to receive significant prison sentences such as the one handed down in this case.
“We hope this investigation will send out a clear deterrent message to others who are involved in the supply of drugs. Officers from the Quartz Team will continue to gather intelligence from the community and elsewhere and focus their attention on those who think they can get away with dealing drugs without having to face the consequences.”