Dealer who ran drug business from Ipswich hotel room is jailed

Alistair McKay was jailed for seven years at Ipswich Crown Court 

Alistair McKay was jailed for seven years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk police

A county lines drug dealer who was running a crack cocaine and heroin operation from an Ipswich hotel room has been jailed for seven years. 

Alistair McKay, 24, ran up a hotel bill of £4,000 while staying at the Pentahotel in Ranelagh Rd, Ipswich, over five months between the middle of December 2020 and April 2021. 

Following his arrest in April last year, police recovered four phones from McKay's hotel room - two Nokia 'burner' phones and two iPhones - along with weighing scales, drug paraphernalia, and £2,405 in cash, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Peter Clark, prosecuting, said McKay was the sole occupant of the room and the phones were linked to the "Alfie" drugs line. 

Outgoing texts from one of the Nokia phones revealed marketing messages sent in bulk, and incoming messages related to drug deals. 

Cell site analysis also placed the phones at the hotel at the time, Mr Clark said. 

The court heard that an algorithm used by the police to calculate the extent of the drug dealing estimated 1kg of class A drugs had been sold, with an income of around £70,000. 

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McKay, of Station Road, Lingfield, Surrey, pleaded guilty to two charges of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs at his plea and trial preparation hearing in May 2021. 

The court heard that McKay has 10 previous convictions for 15 offences, including two in relation to class A drugs. 

Christopher Sykes, mitigating, said McKay "regrets putting himself in this position" and added that his client conceded he is "making the same mistakes". 

Judge David Pugh jailed McKay for a total of seven years and ordered forfeiture and destruction of the cash, drugs, paraphernalia and a knife, which was seized from the scene. 

Following the sentence, investigating officer DC Jared Fortune, of the serious crime disruption team, said: "McKay will certainly not be the last county line orchestrator to fall under the heel of Operation Orochi - the ongoing Suffolk and Metropolitan Police collaboration into disrupting crack cocaine and heroin supply.

"I sincerely hope he marks the poignant contrast of the hotel room from where he ran his drugs business and the cell he will now reside in for the next few years to spur him to change."