WHEN Stratford police saw a known drug-user sitting in the passenger seat of a car parked at the town’s railway station, they correctly suspected he was buying drugs.
And after they had arrested driver Mohammed Nabeel, they discovered huge stashes of street deals of heroin and crack cocaine destined for sale in the town.
Despite the obvious evidence against him, including 117 deals concealed inside his boxer shorts, he denied charges of possessing the drugs with intent to supply them.
But Nabeel, 22, of Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, changed his pleas to guilty on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court, and has been jailed for two years and eight months.
Judge Sally Hancox also ordered a total of £844.68 in cash which was seized from him following his arrest to be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Prosecutor Marion Smullen said that in April last year the police became suspicious about a Ford Focus they saw on the car park of Stratford College, with a known drug-user close to it.
The next day they saw the same car on the car park at Stratford railway station, where an exchange took place between the driver and a known drug-user sitting in the passenger seat. Both men were arrested, with the buyer dropping four £10 wraps of drugs on the floor as he got out of the car.
When the driver, Nabeel, was searched at the scene, he had £40 on him, as well as a further £775 in notes in his wallet and £29.69 in coins. A further search was carried out at the police station where he was found to have three small plastic bags inside his boxer shorts, containing a total of 36 wraps of heroin and 81 of crack cocaine.
The car was then searched, and in a pouch on the back of the driver’s seat were a further 142 £10 wraps of heroin – taking to total value of the drugs to £2,590.
Miss Smullen said a phone seized from Nabeel, who had a conviction as a juvenile for robbery five years ago, had various ‘marketing messages’ for drugs on it.
Babir Adris, defending, said: “There is no evidence Mr Nabeel was in the car on the first day. It was seen, but there’s no evidence he was in it.”
He said the car and the drugs had only been given to Nabeel that day, after he had got into debt to his own dealer after losing his job.
“He was playing a limited role under direction,” argued Mr Adris. “He’s the sort of person who, once on drugs, could be put under pressure. He was told ‘if you sell these directly, you’ll pay off your debt.’”
Jailing Nabeel, Judge Sally Hancox told him: “You were located by police officers in Stratford in a car selling drugs to another person.
“When your car and you were searched, the totality of what was located was not a mere few wraps, but heroin and crack cocaine worth £2,590 – 81 wraps of crack and close to 150 wraps of heroin.
“It’s said you were acting to a degree under duress from somebody who sold you drugs to go to Stratford and deal drugs for them. You’re someone who has occupied a significant role, selling directly to users; that is, street dealing.”