Hartlepool drug delivery man jailed after undercover police sting

A drug delivery man is behind bars after supplying an undercover policeman with heroin.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 11:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 11:02 am

Thomas Reed, 35, from Hartlepool, was snared during a Cleveland Police crackdown on street dealing.

He supplied a £10 deal of the class A drug to what he thought was a fellow user near a park.

But it was in fact an undercover policeman.

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Thomas Reed, inset, was jailed for two years and six months at Teesside Crown Court.

A judge said drugs cause misery to people and communities and jailed Reed for two-and-a-half years.

He was caught during Cleveland Police’s Operation Vanilla which started in February 2019.

The undercover officer posing as a drug user encountered Reed on April 23 of that year after calling a number he had previously used to obtain drugs from someone else.

He was directed to go to a certain area near a Stockton park.

Thomas Reed

Ian West, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “As he did so he was approached by a male he hadn’t seen before.

"It turned out to be this defendant and the defendant dealt a £10 deal of heroin to him.”

The drugs were concealed in a Kinder egg capsule.

The transaction was recorded on secret video footage worn by the undercover officer.

The hearing took place at Teesside Crown Court.

Reed, from Dent Street, Hartlepool, denied it was him for some time before eventually pleading guilty to supplying a class A drug to another.

The court heard he had a “raft of shoplifting” offences on his record linked to his own drug habit, but nothing previously for dealing.

Nicci Horton, defending, said in mitigation: “It’s accepted it’s dealing at street level but it’s one deal.

"He was purchasing his own drug at the time the call came in and was asked to do this and get something knocked off his bill.

"It’s not something he makes a habit of doing.”

The offence carried a prison sentence of between two and four and a half years.

Judge Chris Smith reduced the term for Reed’s guilty plea, Covid conditions in prisons and as “a small act of mercy”.

He said: “You were in effect the delivery person. This case is so serious that only custody can be justified.

"Drug peddling, even your role, just continues the miserable business that has alongside it all the other offending that you yourself have been wrapped up in.”

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