Drug courier delivering cocaine in Ipswich is jailed
- Credit: Suffolk police
A drug dealer caught delivering cocaine around the streets of Ipswich has been jailed for more than two years.
Mihai Nichitoi, 32, was stopped by police on Norwich Road in the town on May 11 this year and showed officers a UK driving licence and a Romanian ID card, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Officers noticed that the photo on the UK driving licence bore no resemblance to Nichitoi and that the Romanian ID card also looked fake.
He was detained for a drugs search and immediately admitted to officers about the false identity documents, telling them: "It is not good, it's not me."
David Wilson, prosecuting, said slightly more than a gram of cocaine was found in the rented car along with £130 in cash, and Nichitoi did not have a UK driving licence.
Nichitoi's mobile phone was seized and messages indicative of "a postcode drug dealing model" were discovered.
Mr Wilson said due to lockdown restrictions closing many places where drug dealing might ordinarily take place, dealers have adapted.
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"A number of street dealers have been operating on a taxi basis," he said. "They are given postcodes to drop off drugs at various locations."
Following police checks with authorities in Romania, the ID card was found to be false, the court heard.
Nichitoi, of Elm Grove, Southsea, Hampshire, gave a full account to officers in police interview, saying he needed a job after being laid off from a car wash during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He told officers he had been instructed to pick up the rental car from Gatwick Airport and drive to Ipswich.
He said he was being paid £150 per day to deliver the cocaine and wanted to stop, but needed a job.
Nichitoi, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possessing fake identity documents before magistrates in Ipswich on May 12.
David Stewart, representing Nichitoi, said it was "a sad tale".
"He came to the UK some 10 years ago and quickly found work," Mr Stewart said.
"When the car wash closed, he was laid off due to Covid. He was short of money and was unable to provide for his wife and eight-year-old son.
"He accepts he was street dealing. He asked if he could stop but was told: 'You stop when we say you can stop'.'"
On Wednesday, Recorder Heather Rogers QC jailed Nichitoi for a total of 25 months.