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Drug dealers should not view Ipswich as a 'soft target' after London and Surrey men jailed, police chief hopes

PUBLISHED: 17:27 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 18:16 16 November 2016

Laurence Obasogie and Charles Oryema.

Laurence Obasogie and Charles Oryema.

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Drug dealers outside Suffolk have received a "strong message" that Ipswich is not a "soft target", a police chief hopes, after two men were jailed for drug offences in the town.

Laurence Obasogie, 27, of London, and Charles Oryema, 29, of Surrey, were jailed for over eight years in total after being charged with possessing heroin with intent to supply and also possessing crack cocaine with intent to supply.

They were arrested earlier this year after officers stopped their vehicle in Waterworks Street and carried out a search. One of them fled the scene but was soon caught by police when trying to climb a fence.

Inspector Gary Miller, of Suffolk Constabulary, who helped track down and stop the men during the incident, said: “This was an excellent piece of team work by everyone involved, with the suspects being brought to our attention by officers in our intelligence unit.

“The careful retracing of the route taken by Oryema when he tried to escape, through many areas which were not well-lit, was particularly crucial due to the discovery of the drugs he tried to dispose of.

“I hope this sends out a strong message to people travelling into Suffolk to deal drugs from other parts of the country – who may have the perception that we are a soft target – that we are gathering intelligence all the time, identifying suspect individuals and vehicles, and acting positively on that information to disrupt their activity, make arrests and ultimately charge them and put them before the courts.”

The incident took place at around 7.50pm on January 4. Officers on patrol were alerted to a suspicious Ford Focus being driven by Obasogie in Star Lane. They followed the vehicle to Waterworks Street where they signalled for it to stop.

The officers then approached the car and conducted basic searches of both men, with Obasogie found in possession of a large amount of cash and Oryema also found to have a large sum of cash, along with a small amount of cannabis.

A dog unit was then called to assist with a search of the car, during which a further amount of cash was discovered.

As officers were preparing to take Oryema to a police station for a full search of his person, he managed to escape and ran off towards Rope Walk, to Bond Street, then Upper Orwell Street, before being recaptured in Upper Barclay Street as he attempted to climb over a fence.

The route of the pursuit was then searched by officers and a bag containing a large number of wraps and an amount of a powdered substance was recovered from a car park off Upper Orwell Courts. A further amount of white powder was then found within a bag taken from Oryema.

The seized substances totalled over 200 wraps of controlled drugs, which following tests were found to be heroin and crack cocaine with an estimated street value in excess of £2,500.

Obasogie, of the Denmark Hill Estate in south London, denied the charges but was found guilty following a trial. Oryema, of Hobart Gardens, Thornton Heath, Surrey, had pleaded guilty to the charges.

Both men appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing on Monday. Obasogie was jailed for four years and six months, and Oryema was given four years imprisonment (reduced from five years for a guilty plea).

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