Dealer removed drug packet from buttocks and tried to swallow, court hears

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

A drug dealer being strip searched by police took a package from between his buttocks and attempted to swallow it, a court heard.

Father-of-five Dimitrios Fotis was detained in Great Yarmouth on September 30, 2017 after his behaviour caught the interest of police.

Norwich Crown Court heard on Monday how officers searched the 55-year-old under the misuse of drugs act before taking him to a police station for a full strip search.

Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said: "During the searc,h Mr Fotis grabbed a large packet of drugs from between his bottom cheeks, placed them in his mouth and appeared to try to swallow them."

The packet, which was seized by officers, was later found to contain 13.6g of heroin with a purity of 19pc.

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Fortis was also found to be in possession of cash and an iPhone.

Mr Thompson said the phone's messages suggested the defendant was involved in low to moderate drug trafficking.

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Police later searched Fotis's home, at Mill Road, Cobholm, and found 8.76g of heroin, drug paraphernalia and four canisters of CS gas.

Mr Thompson said the total street value of the heroin was £2,200.

In an interview with police, Fotis said the cash was legitimately obtained and denied selling drugs.

He also claimed the CS gas canisters were purchased in Belgium several years ago.

Mr Thompson said Fotis was on a suspended sentence at the time of the offence.

Danielle O'Donovan, mitigating, said Fotis was at a point in his life where he was determined to stay clean from drugs.

She said: "That is due, in no small part, to his care for his five children.

"The circumstances around this man and his family are that they would all benefit from him maintaining his liberty."

Fotis pleaded guilty to two charges of possession with intent to supply heroin and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Judge Maureen Bacon said: "Dealing Class A drugs while on a suspended sentence for dealing Class A drugs would seem like an open and shut case.

"But 18 months later you have not re-offended and you have done a very great deal to put your life on a more stable footing."

Fotis was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He must also attended a drug rehabilitation programme and pay a £30 fine.

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