A heroin and crack-cocaine dealer has been jailed for over three years after expanding his operations into the Harrogate drug market.
Maleek Williams, 20, from Leeds, was caught out when police raided a property on Skipton Road.
Williams made a dash for it but was stopped by officers, who seized £740 worth of heroin and crack from the teenager, York Crown Court heard.
Following his arrest, police also found a wrap of cannabis and £140 cash on Williams. He was charged with two counts of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply, and one of possessing cannabis.
He appeared for sentence on Friday after admitting all three charges.
Williams was already a serving prisoner, having been sentenced to 28 months in a young-offenders’ institution in September last year for similar drug-dealing offences in April 2015.
Prosecuting barrister Jonathan Sharp said that Williams was on bail for those offences when police raided the property on June 25. They found Williams in possession of 32 wraps of cocaine and 14 of heroin.
Mr Sharp said that Williams had initially been dealing in Leeds, where police found him with a much greater amount of Class A drugs in a high-rise block in Armley.
“Some two months later, while on bail for that, he is found in Harrogate, and the necessary inference is that he had moved from his normal patch and expanded his activities into North Yorkshire,” said Mr Sharp.
Defence barrister Rob Stevenson said that Williams did not have an “organising” role in a criminal gang and claimed that, rather than “expanding his empire”, the Harrogate patch was a continuation of his previous “courier” duties at the behest of drug pushers higher up the chain.
Mr Stevenson claimed Williams got involved in drug supply to service a cannabis debt.
Mr Recorder Macdonald QC said Williams only had himself to blame for getting caught up in a cannabis debt and added that he must pass a sentence to reflect the “devastation” caused by drugs such as heroin and crack cocaine.
He sentenced Williams to three-and-a-half years in a young-offenders’ institution and ordered him to pay a court surcharge.