County lines drug dealer who went on run found 'making new life' in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 05 August 2019
A county lines drug dealer snared as part of a crackdown on Class A drugs, in Norwich, was found trying to make a new life for himself after going on the run.
Jah Mal Ohene-Darko, 23, failed to turn up for a court appearance in Norwich earlier this year and was listed by Norfolk police as one of 10 most wanted suspected drug dealers.
But Norwich Crown Court heard that after about a year on the run he was finally brought to justice when he was found to have moved out of London and living in Ipswich to get away from the influence of drugs and gangs,
The court heard that while living in Ipswich he had not committed any further offences.
Ohene-Darko, of no fixed address, had been due to go on trial but changed his plea before a jury was sworn in and admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of heroin and cocaine between December 2017 and April 2018.
The court heard that Ohene-Darko was arrested as part of Operation Granary, which was a six-month operation targeting Class A drugs supply in Norwich, and involved the use of an undercover officer, known as Tommo, as well as surveillance.
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Jailing him for four years, Judge Stephen Holt said that his role had been a significant one, and said an aggravating feature was that he had a previous conviction for dealing Class A drugs.
He warned him that if he carried on the next time he would get a minimum of seven years.
However he accepted Ohene-Darko was trying to get away from drugs and had moved to Ipswich to try to start a new life.
"You were trying to break the cycle and although you were at large for some time, you did not commit any further offences," he said.
He also accepted that Ohene-Darko had used drugs himself and so was not just into drug dealing for the profit.
Roy Headlam, for Ohene-Darko, said that he had moved away from the drugs scene as he wanted a new life and had got out of the London area.
"This has been a learning curve for him," he said.