Drug dealer jailed for more than two years

PUBLISHED: 12:55 20 November 2020 | UPDATED: 21:33 21 November 2020

Thomas McKeown has been jailed for 30 months after being found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Thomas McKeown has been jailed for 30 months after being found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE


A drug dealer has been jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to Class A drugs offences in Ipswich.

Thomas McKeown, 32, was stopped by Suffolk police’s Operation Sentinel team in Ellenbrook Road on September 9 last year – where a search of his vehicle found several bags of white powder, scales and a quantity of cash.

He was subsequently taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning, where he was charged with possession with intent to supply drugs and being concerned in the supply of drugs.

Appearing before Ipswich Crown Court on October 28, McKeown pleaded guilty to both charges.

Returning to court on Thursday, November 19, he was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for the offences.

Sergeant Mike Moon, from the Operation Sentinel team which made the arrest, praised fellow officers for their “diligent” work in bringing McKeown to justice.

Sgt Moon said: “This stop of a suspicious vehicle and the subsequent discovery of the drugs was a great piece of observational police work and demonstrates the value of the Sentinel team.

“Apart from the initial arrest, it also required a considerable amount of diligent and thorough police investigative work to secure the case and get it to court.

“It is a great demonstration of how we can swiftly intercept offenders to disrupt criminal activity, seize their assets and then convict them to protect our local communities.”

The Sentinel teams, first launched in May 2019, target serious and organised criminal activity on the county’s road network using technology such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and mobile fingerprint devices.

Since the mobile unit was expanded in October that year, the three teams of Operation Sentinel have made more than 500 arrests – including for fraud, robbery and burglary offences.

It is hoped their continued presence in the county will make Suffolk a “hostile” place for organised criminals to operate in.

A police spokesman said anyone who has information about drug use in their community should contact their local policing team on 101.

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