Man jailed for more than eight years for Hastings drugs offences
Main article content
A drug dealer who was caught in possession of more than 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine has been jailed.
In January 2019, officers on plain-clothed patrols in Hastings town centre witnessed a man and two women acting suspiciously in Cornwallis Gardens.
Believing a drug deal had taken place, officers observed the man as he returned to his car. There, he altered his appearance - turning his white jacket inside out so it was now black - before driving away.
He was detained after parking up elsewhere in the town, and taken to Hastings Police Station. The key to the car was found discarded nearby alongside a package containing 69 wraps of crack cocaine and 44 wraps of heroin.
DNA found on the discarded drugs wraps matched that of the man arrested - later known to be Alex Simon, 25, of Brynhyfryd, Swansea.
He was charged with possession with intent to supply a Class A drug (heroin) and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug (crack cocaine).
Simon had also been arrested in connection with the discovery of a cannabis factory at a property in Milward Road, Hastings, in August 2019.
Officers had been at the address on an unrelated matter when they noticed a smell of cannabis coming from the letterbox.
What they could see and hear led them to believe there was an active cannabis grow within, and so they entered the premises.
Inside, they found 208 cannabis plants with a potential street value of up to £174,000. Enquiries linked Simon to the address and he was arrested and charged with production of a Class B drug (cannabis).
In March 2019, Simon was arrested again after being identified on CCTV at an address in Wellington Square, Hastings, and in the company of a boy found in possession of crack cocaine worth more than £5,000.
The subsequent police investigation found evidence of Simon renting out properties in the town, from which the boy would then distribute drugs. Simon's DNA was found on the drug packaging and he was charged with being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug (crack cocaine).
Simon pleaded guilty to all offences and at Lewes Crown Court on March 18, was sentenced to a total of eight years and nine months' imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Gavin Patch of the East Sussex Community Investigations Team said: "Even after his first arrest, Alex Simon continued to be involved in the supply of dangerous drugs in our community. He was a drug dealer intent on causing harm to others, for his own financial gain.
"The sentence given to him by the courts reflects the severity of his actions. Drugs, particularly heroin and crack cocaine, have a devastating impact on users and those around them. This has a knock-on effect bringing crime and anti-social behaviour into our neighbourhood, and it's completely unacceptable.
"We will continue to take action against those found to be producing or distributing drugs. Anyone with information that could help us identify those involved in drug-related crime is asked to report it to us online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency."