Dealer awaits sentence for significant cocaine and cash haul

Anthony Down was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Anthony Down was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A drug dealer found with estimated tens of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and cash in Ipswich will be sentenced in May.

Artenis Selita was picked up by Suffolk Constabulary's specialist county lines drug dealing enforcement unit, the Scorpion Team, near Broomhill Park, at about noon on January 25.

Officers found the 24-year-old in the driver's seat of a stationary car, parked close to a footpath, in Sherrington Road.

A subsequent search of the vehicle, and the room in which he was staying, turned up a large quantity of cocaine with a street value of tens of thousands of pounds, as well as cash estimated by police to be worth in the region of £40,000.

Selita, of Cottril Way, Bedford, was taken to Martlesham Heath police investigation centre for questioning, and later charged with possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

He was remanded in custody and appeared the next morning at Suffolk Magistrates' Court, where he entered guilty pleas to both charges.

Magistrates further remanded him in custody and committed the case for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, where Selita appeared via video link from Norwich prison on Monday.

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The hearing was adjourned in order for prosecutors to serve an expert witness statement containing further forensic evidence on the quality and quantity of the drugs, as well as the content of text message found on Selita's mobile phone.

Prosecutor Lynne Shirley told the court that a "significant number" of drug-filled ampules and in excess of £30,000 were seized, but that the exact amount remained to be precisely quantified.

Recorder Jeremy Benson QC gave the prosecution until May 7 to serve the outstanding evidence.

The case was relisted for Friday, May 21.

Suffolk police's Scorpion Team was launched in 2015 to tackle drug-related crime and the threat of county lines, as well as working to combat child sex offences and deny criminals use of the roads.

Based in Ipswich, Bury and Lowestoft, but covering the whole county, the unit made 365 arrests, attended 86 planned operations, executed 82 drug warrants and seized more than 3,500 exhibits in 2019.