Jail for drug dealer who had an imitation firearm and live ammunition

A Hastings man has been given a six-year prison sentence for drugs and firearms offences.

Joshua Sawyer, 29, unemployed, of Grove Road, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court last Tuesday (July 7th).

He had pleaded guilty to; possession with intent to supply cocaine, for which he was given three years; possessing an imitation firearm with intent to commit indictable offence, for which he was given a further 18 months; possessing firearm ammunition when prohibited, an 18-month sentence concurrent with the other two and breaching previously suspended sentence for causing grievous bodily harm, for which he was given a further 18 months.

Sawyer was arrested during a proactive police operation in Hastings shortly after 5am on April 17th when armed officers supported proactive intelligence-led searches by local detectives at two addresses in Hastings, one in Grove Road and one in Harkness Drive.

There was no violence or injury during the operation and no shots were fired but as the officers entered Sawyer’s address in Grove Road he was seen to throw a holdall over the back wall into the next door garden and he was immediately arrested before he had an opportunity to follow it.

In the holdall were found an imitation sawn-off shotgun, 25 viable 16-bore cartridges, and cocaine with an estimated potential street value of some £3,500.

Detective Sergeant Jason Tuck said; “Our information that Sawyer was engaged in drug dealing was clearly accurate, and the weapon was obviously for use in any threats connected with that activity.

“We are continuing our operations to disrupt organised criminality which affects our local communities in this way.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing can contact the police at any time online or by calling 101.

Further information on how to help the fight against drugs can be found on the Sussex Police website.

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