Portuguese drug dealer selling heroin and crack to Corby people caught by eagle-eyed police officers
He was found with 51 wraps of crack cocaine and 20 wraps of heroin
Police spotted a man doing a drug deal to a passer-by from a car window in Corby before arresting him.
Nortampton Crown Court heard how Mateus Dacosta, 22, had struggled to find work in the town to send money home to his mum and son in Portugal.
So he had turned to drug dealing to pay his debts.
Dacosta, of Breedon Close, was seen by officers doing what they believed to be a drug deal at 2.40pm on April 29. He was arrested in Gainsborough Road by the local tasking team and taken into custody. Officers found 51 wraps of crack cocaine, 20 wraps of heroin, £180, £300 Euros, an iPhone and a Nokia burner phone.
Prosecuting at yesterday's (Friday, June 4) hearing, barrister James Smith-Wilds, said Dacosta had given a 'no comment' interview, adding: "He was not prepared to provide police with the PINs for the phones but officers noted that both phones appeared to be constantly ringing or receiving notifications during his detention.
"There's clear evidence of street dealing but neither phone has been analysed.
"He was asked about his safety and whether he was in any danger. His demeanor changed, he appeared to be nervous, frightened and upset but would not elaborate."
The court was told Dacosta had previous driving offences and assault, for which he received a suspended prison sentence, on his record. He also had a caution for drug possession.
Mitigating, Derek Johashen, said: "This has all the hallmarks of somebody that was trying hard to lead a life that was going to be for him and supportive for members of his family.
"He became involved simply because he found work very, very difficult to come by in the latter part (of the pandemic). Work was drying up, he couldn't feed himself so he borrowed money from people and they put him to work about two or three days before his arrest.
"People in this situation, away from their family and friends in a country that's not their own are very, very easy to exploit, so he found himself falling in with people who are organised and who exploit.
"He came here because he needed to send money back to his mother who looks after his young son. He was very anxious to have money available to help raise his son. He's absolutely devastated to find himself in a position where he can't support them. He understands he's done wrong and expresses real remorse.
Recorder William Davis ordered the forfeiture of the drugs, cash and phones.
He said he was taking into account Dacosta's early guilty plea and the poor conditions in prisons during the pandemic, as well as the fact Dacosta was facing pressure to be involved in drug dealing.
He was given a sentence of two years and four months in prison, of which he will serve half before being released on licence.
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