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Gloucestershire Business News

'Major player' in Gloucester drug dealing operation jailed

A big-time Gloucester drug-dealer who went by the code name 'Enzo' has been caged for six-and-a-half years at the city crown court.

Elijah Sutherland, 34, who had denied being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine, was impassive in the dock when Judge Timothy Rose passed sentence om him.

A jury of six men and five women - one juror was taken ill during the week-long trial - took barely two hours to reach their unanimous verdict of guilty at the end of a week-long trial.

Judge Rose told Sutherland: "You have a previous conviction in 2012 for selling drugs and you spent 13 months in jail.

"In this case there has been overwhelming evidence against you and it abundantly clear to me that you played a significant role in an operation to sell Class A drugs in Gloucester.

"You were a major player in this operation."

Sutherland had denied three charges - supplying heroin and crack cocaine and being in possession of criminal property - and was found guilty of them all.

During the trial the jury heard that Sutherland was caught with a mobile phone full of drug-related messages.

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He used the code name Enzo to send bulk messages to addicts which said that he had "D" and "W" for sale - well known abbreviations for heroin and crack cocaine.

Sutherland was charged with dealing drugs between August and September last year but Judge Rose said it was likely that he had been dealing for "considerably longer."

Sutherland's excuse for being caught in possession of the incriminating Enzo phone was that it belonged to his late cousin and was not his.

Sutherland, of Keats Avenue, Podsmead, Gloucester was found to have £1,000 in cash when police raided a property in Russell Street, Gloucester last year, the court also heard.

He claimed that the money was half-earned from his employment as a plumber and half from the proceeds of gambling.

Sutherland's mother and ex-wife sobbed from the public gallery of court one as the drug addict was taken down to begin his six-and-a-half year sentence.

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