A High Wycombe drug dealer who was arrested at Heathrow airport attempting to flee to Turkey has been jailed for nearly five years.

Mohammed Asif, aged 22, of Sheraton Drive, was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison after he was caught with nearly £100,000-worth of drugs.

The dealer was found to have had a “significant” role in drugs operations in the area after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and cannabis.

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He was also found to have exploited a vulnerable man by using his flat in Maidenhead to stash his huge supply of drugs, known as cuckooing.

At the hearing at Reading Crown Court today (Friday) prosecutor Nick Saunders said: “Police attended a flat in Maidenhead following reports of a male being cuckooed.

“On arrival, they saw Mr Asif attempting to make his escape by different windows. By the time they accessed the flat he had escaped.

“He was detained at Heathrow Airport attempting to board a one-way flight to Istanbul. The ticket had been bought the same day.”

The court heard how when they accessed the flat in Maidenhead, officers discovered vast quantities of drugs, including a quarter of a kilogram of heroin, more than 3kg of cannabis, several block packs of cocaine and multiple wraps of crack cocaine – with a total street value estimated at £98,000.

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Mr Saunders suggested that the presence of block packets of cocaine suggested Asif had a “leading role” in a drug-dealing operation with “sources close to importation and regional distribution.”

Although it was not shown in the hearing, the court also heard that police recovered a video of Asif holding and throwing around large wads of money.

In mitigation, Asif’s defence barrister Matthew Pardue argued that his client did not have a leading role in the operation.

He said: “He had a significant role but to say he was dealing and organising and selling on a commercial scale is simply not borne out by the evidence.

“The whole point of being in a leading role is that you’re at an arm’s length from the operations, you certainly don’t get in your car and sell drugs out of the window."

After taking some time to consider his verdict, Recorder Stuart Ritchie agreed that Asif had a significant role, rather than a leading role in the drugs operations.

Addressing the defendant, who appeared from prison via video link, Recorder Ritchie said: “There was an expectation of significant financial advantage. I have seen evidence of you celebrating with substantial amounts of cash.

“It was quite clear you had an understanding of the scale of the operation.”

Sentencing, Recorder Ritchie gave Asif four years and ten months for each of the Class A drug offences and 18 months for the cannabis offence.

These sentences will run concurrently, meaning the total length of his sentence is four years and ten months.

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