London drug dealer given suspended prison sentence for drug offences in Cambridge
A teenage drug dealer who was seen loitering suspiciously outside a Cambridge convenience store was later found to have cocaine and heroin in his car worth more than £2,000, a court heard.
Kieran Merchant, of Chatham Road, Wandsworth, London, was spotted by officers who were out on patrol in an unmarked car on 4 August, 2017.
The 19-year-old was seen by officers sitting in a parked car at a layby with another man in Akeman Street, Cambridge.
Officers continued driving along Akeman Street and used Darwin Drive to loop round in a circle while checks were completed on the car they had seen Merchant in. The checks revealed it was not from the local area.
As the unmarked police car came back round the block, Merchant got out of the car and walked slowly towards Histon Road.
Police drove back towards Histon Road and saw Merchant standing outside the Co-op, as if waiting for someone. He made no effort to go inside the shop, Cambridge Crown Court heard.
Officers spoke to Merchant, who appeared very nervous and couldn’t provide a logical reason for why he was in Cambridge that day.
He told police he was from London but was in Cambridge for the day to visit friends.
Despite this, he would not provide details of who he’d met up with during his stay or any locations as to where his ‘friends’ were.
Merchant said he had parked in Akeman Street to go to the shop, despite the shop having closer parking nearby and allocated free parking directly outside.
Police became suspicious and searched Merchant, who had £385 in cash on him and a mobile phone.
Officers searched the car Merchant was originally seen in, where they found a black plastic bag sealed with a knot.
The bag was later examined and found to contain 140 wraps of cocaine and 105 wraps of heroin worth about £2,450.
Merchant was arrested and interviewed, but provided no comment to all questions put to him.
However, he later pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply and possessing criminal property.
He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (1 February), where he was handed a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Merchant was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Sergeant Paul Street said: “Drugs ruin lives and our message is clear; we will not tolerate it in Cambridgeshire.
“We will continue to do all we can to prevent drug dealers like Merchant operating in our county and disrupt the drugs network which infiltrates our communities.”