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Surrey and Hampshire drug dealer who fled to Spain jailed

3 minute read
Surrey and Hampshire drug dealer who fled to Spain jailed

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:47pm 29th May 2020.

A man who fled the country while under investigation for supplying cocaine and fake medication has been jailed. 

35-year-old Luke Kelly of no fixed abode has been sentenced to nine years and three months in prison after he admitted supplying cocaine and counterfeit Diazepam.

Kelly was initially investigated after another man, Kerry Barton was arrested and jailed when a kilogram of cocaine with a street value of up to £120,000 was seized in Guildford in November 2017. 

Luke Kelly drug dealer jailed via South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

Barton's phone revealed that he was working for Kelly and further investigations showed they were supplying the bulk cocaine to other drug dealers.

Extensive messages between the pair showed their drug dealing operation spanned across Surrey and Hampshire.

In July 2018, Kelly was arrested at the address he shared with his partner in Windlesham. 

Officers with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU)  discovered over 8,200 blister packs, branded as Diazepam, hidden in the garden.

The packs, which contained the class C drug Etizolam, comprised 115,850 tablets with a street value of over £82,000, which tests revealed to be counterfeit medication.

Luke Kelly drug dealer jailed via South East Regional Organised Crime Unit
Luke Kelly drug dealer jailed via South East Regional Organised Crime Unit

While on bail for the offences, Kelly fled the country using a fraudulent passport.

After being located in Spain he was extradited to the United Kingdom in January 2020 and was re-arrested and subsequently charged.

Kelly, who also pleaded guilty to possessing and using a fraudulent passport, was sentenced to:

  • One count of being concerned in the supply of cocaine for which he was sentenced to eight years and three months imprisonment;
  • One count of possession of class C, Etizolam, with intent to supply for which he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to run consecutively; 
  • One count of possessing a fraudulent passport for which he was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment to run concurrently

Detective Constable David Bone, from SEROCU’s investigations team, said: 

“This was an extensive investigation and, although Kelly did his upmost to evade justice, the dedication of our work meant that even illegally fleeing to Spain wasn’t enough to stop him facing conviction.

"His actions have probably made his sentence all the more severe.

“The public are well aware of the severe impact cocaine can have on our communities, and stopping supply lines of this scale and bringing offenders to justice are absolutely vital to combating its supply.

“Counterfeit drugs also have huge implications on public health, particularly for those persons who are consuming this product in the belief that it is genuine.

"I’d urge the public to be mindful that criminals involved in supplying counterfeit medical products are not interested in your health, they only want your money.

“To those out there who continue to deal drugs, I hope this investigation is a stark reminder of the lengths we will go to ensure you are apprehended and put before the courts.”