A 20-year-old man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after being convicted of a string of Class A drug dealing offences in Stevenage.
Larry Ansell, from West Lane, Pirton, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court for six counts of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Ansell was stopped and searched by officers in June 2021 where he was found with 80 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine inside a tobacco pouch in his pants.
While on bail for this offence, in October last year, mobile phone data also showed he had links to a County Lines drug network running in Stevenage. It is believed he was sending up to 80 messages a day to drug users in the area.
Officers then launched an operation to tackle his illegal activities and conducted a warrant at a private address in Drury Lane. Ansell was inside the property with the County Line phone, a stash of crack cocaine and heroin with an estimated value of more than £2,000 and a ‘Rambo’ style knife.
After pleading not guilty at an early court hearing, and claiming he was a victim of modern slavery, he was subsequently remanded to prison and then bailed to an address outside Hertfordshire with a strict curfew. Before a trial could take place though, further investigations revealed he had broken his bail conditions and returned to Stevenage and was running a new County Lines drug dealing operation.
Ansell was eventually traced to a flat in Canterbury Way after Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Integrated Offender Management Unit launched a manhunt, supported by the Specialist Investigation Team, Operational Intelligence Team and the Operational Support Group.
As officers swooped into arrest him, he attempted to flee, not before trying to conceal evidence by throwing more than 100 wraps of class A drugs out of the window. The operation was meticulously planned however, and officers had surrounded the building, preventing his escape. He was arrested and cash and a large hunting knife were seized from the address.
On 21 June [correct], he was sentenced to imprisonment for:
20 months each for two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A, crack cocaine and heroin.
35 months for two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, crack cocaine and heroin.
56 months for the final offences of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, crack cocaine and heroin.
The sentences are to be served concurrently.
PC Jackson, from the Integrated Offender Management Unit, said: “Despite numerous arrests and investigations against him, Ansell thought he could act with impunity and carry on drug dealing. Ansell was offered support with rehabilitation which he declined, and even tried to present himself as a victim of slavery.
“However, our active investigations against him revealed repeated attempts to set up county drug lines, bringing misery to vulnerable people in Stevenage. He has now been brought to justice and has some time to think about his actions and where they have got him.”
He added: “We take reports of drug offences very seriously and will always follow up information received from the public about drug dealing or drug abuse in their area. We may not always appear to respond immediately as information is often incorporated as part of wider investigations and enquiries however we do always use the information. I would urge the public to continue to report suspected drug dealing to us.”
You can report information about crime or illegal drugs online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101. If you think a crime is in progress or need an emergency response, call 999.
Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.