Two county lines drug dealers have been put behind bars, thanks to North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Expedite.
Emilov Andonov and Stanislav Stefanov, both of no fixed address, appeared at York Crown Court on Tuesday 6 June and pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. They were both sentenced for two years and three months imprisonment.
Officers from Operation Expedite, the force’s county lines drugs team, were patrolling in Harrogate at around midday on Saturday 28 January, when they spotted a car acting in a suspicious manner. The car, a Toyota Avensis pulled into a local supermarket car park and parked next to an Audi A4, where officers witnessed one of the men get out of the Toyota and in to the Audi. Suspecting a drug deal was taking place, officers approached the vehicles and conducted a search under Section 23 of the misuse of drugs act.
A total of 30 bags of white powder, later found to be cocaine, were found hidden underneath the gearstick covers of both vehicles. Both men were arrested and taken into police custody. When questioned both stated that they had arrived in the UK from Bulgaria just days before, looking for work and had purchased the drugs for their own use. However, due to the evidence gathered by the Expedite team, they both later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply.
Following sentencing, Police Constable Chris Thompson of Operation Expedite said;
“This is a prime example of two individuals involved in county lines crime groups, thinking they can commit drugs crime in North Yorkshire. Both men willingly entered into criminality for their own personal gain, not giving any concern to the risk presented to residents of North Yorkshire or the damaging impact drugs has on our local communities.
“North Yorkshire Police is committed to tackling drug related crime, and having a dedicated Operation Expedite county lines team allows us to target those who pedal these illegal substances in a proactive and relentless manner. The fight against class A drug supply at all levels will continue and anyone involved can expect to be dealt with robustly by police.”
Some of the class A drugs seized from the vehicles.