A dealer was jailed for eight years after he was caught transporting drugs from London to Brighton via a 14-year-old girl in 2019.
Michael Ajanaku, 25, was arrested in Brighton in September 2019 after Sussex Police officers became aware of a young girl attempting to avoid the metal detection arch at the train station.
A court heard how the officers conducted welfare checks on the young girl, who was wearing dirty clothes and had travelled from London via the train.
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As the police engaged with the young girl, a man called her phone asking where she was, before officers told them they were in the station.
The young girl then admitted to being in possession of cocaine and, upon searching her, officers discovered 35 wraps of Class A drugs – 25 wraps were identified as heroin and 10 as cocaine.
She was also in possession of £80 in cash, said the British Transport Police (BTP).
A short time after the young girl was taken into police custody, Ajanaku arrived at the station in search of his friend’s phone.
The officers believed that Ajanaku was the man who had called the young girl’s phone and placed him under arrest as they suspected he was the intended recipient of the drugs carried by the girl.
Two mobile phones and three SIM cards were seized from Ajanaku after his arrest.
After his phones were examined alongside information from the young girl’s phone, he was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.
An investigation was also launched into Ajanaku’s criminal history, and it was found that he was released on licence from HMP Rochester, Medway, Kent, when he was arrested, only one month after his release for a similar offence committed in Kent.
This meant that he was serving a prison sentence but released under certain conditions to allow him to reintegrate into the community.
Ajanaku appeared at Lewes Crown Court on March 29, 2021, where he pleaded not guilty to two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
On August 31, 2021, a jury returned guilty verdicts for both offences and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison for each, to be served concurrently.
No charges were brought in the case of the 14-year-old girl and she was subsequently safeguarded by social services.
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Investigating officer in the case, Detective Constable Andy Humes, said: “This was an unusual case given the lack of tangible evidence against Ajanaku.
“The court were told he was not found in possession of any controlled substances, and that there were no messages on his phones that explicitly linked him to the young girl or being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.
“However, by analysing the girl’s phone and its data, alongside that of Ajanaku’s phones, the prosecution was able to show the court that his explanation of events did not ring true.
“This was a great example of teamwork between BTP and Sussex Police, resulting in someone who seeks to exploit vulnerable people ending up behind bars, and those who need safeguarding receiving support.
“If you’re travelling on the network and see something that doesn’t look right – text us on 61016 or call us on 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency, always dial 999.”
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