Dealer jailed after swoop

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A DRUG dealer has been jailed after alert cops pounced moments after he carried out a £1,500 deal.

Dale Robertson, 37, supplied two lower level dealers from out of town with a bag of herbal cannabis from his Hartlepool home.

Police, who happened to be on patrol in Oxford Road on June 9 last year, watched a man leave Robertson’s home and get into a silver BMW.

They decided to investigate after they spotted a car nearby that was linked to suspected drug activity.

They approached the BMW and discovered a black bin bag on the back seat containing 153 grams of herbal cannabis with an estimated street value of £1,530.

When they searched Robertson’s house, they found him hiding in a bedroom cupboard.

Another 369 grams of cannabis, valued at £3,960, was recovered along with £920 in cash and a “shopping list” of cannabis growing equipment.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “The Crown submit that Robertson played a leading role in the enterprise, organising and supplying cannabis on what was a commercial scale.

“The others played a lesser role in the chain.”

The two men in the BMW, David Ballan, 28, and 18-year-old Kyle Kenny, both from the Bishop Auckland area, were arrested.

Ballan admitted the cannabis was his and Kenny’s fingerprints were found on the bag.

Text messages on their mobile phones uncovered requests for drugs from potential customers.

One asked Ballan if he could supply them with a kilogram of cannabis.

Robertson, of Chaucer Avenue, Hartlepool, was jailed for 20 months after he pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

He also admitted possessing criminal property in regards to the money.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating for Robertson, said he had used cannabis for years.

He said: “The breakdown of his relationship led him into a spiral of depression, and coupled with financial pressures led him into this.”

Ballan, of Douthwaite Road, Bishop Auckland, and Kenny, of Church Street, Toronto, Bishop Auckland, both received suspended sentences after they admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Ballan was given 12 months suspended for 18 months and 150 hours unpaid work. Kenny was given 10 months suspended for 12 months and 100 hours community work.