Drug dealers caught red-handed tried to hide cocaine in a drain
Two drug dealers who were caught red-handed after officers spotted them dealing from a car in Huntingdon have been sentenced.
Officers from the Southern Impact Team, who act on intelligence reported to the force from a variety of different sources, spotted the men acting suspiciously on May 26.
The officers were in an unmarked police car in California Road, Huntingdon, just before 11.30am when they saw Quasim Abbas (33) of Bradshaw Close, Huntingdon, and Arnold Pilgrim (37) of Elm Close, Huntingdon, sat inside a blue Ford Fiesta.
A third man was talking to the pair through the car window but, on seeing the officers, ran away from the car on foot.
Suspecting the pair were in the middle of a drug deal, the officers turned their car around and spoke to Pilgrim and Abbas.
One officer approached the driver’s side of the car, where Pilgrim was sat, and was greeted by an “overwhelming” smell of cannabis. He also noticed Abbas, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was leaning forward with his door open.
Soon after this, officers noticed a drain directly next to the passenger seat of the car – and inside was a package of cocaine.
Abbas was asked if he had discarded the cocaine in the drain, but he claimed he was reaching down for his phone below the passenger seat.
He was searched and two phones, cannabis and £160 in cash were seized, together with the cocaine which the officers retrieved from the drain.
Pilgrim was searched and officers seized a mobile phone and £32 in cash, as well as further cocaine below the driver’s seat where he was sat.
The three phones seized from the men were analysed and found to contain evidence of drug dealing.
Both men were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs, and on the same day officers conducted a warrant at both defendants’ homes.
From Abbas’s address they seized a brown bag full of cash from the airing cupboard found to contain more than £4,000.
On one of the phones was a photo of Pilgrim holding large amounts of cash, which Abbas claimed was £2,000 won in a casino, while Pilgrim said he held the money while “messing around”.
At Pilgrim’s address a drugs debt sheet was seized with names matching those on phones used to deal drugs.
In police interview Abbas answered “no comment” to all questions, other than to state he did not use drugs.
Pilgrim admitted using both cannabis and cocaine and said on the day of his arrest he was just “hanging out” with Abbas. He also admitted dealing cannabis and cocaine. He said he did not consider this dealing but instead “helping people out”.
He suggested that dealing drugs was a lifeline for him and that he was doing it to “survive” as he was unemployed.
Pilgrim and Abbas appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on January 7 where they were due to stand trial accused of drug offences.
On the same day Pilgrim pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of cannabis and cocaine.
After a four day trial Abbas was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and two counts of possessing criminal property. He had previously pleaded guilty to being concerned in supply of cannabis.
Sergeant Jamie Williams, who investigated, said: “Pilgrim and Abbas were spotted while I and another officer were out on a proactive patrol in Huntingdon.
“As part of the Southern Impact Team we can’t do this kind of work without the help of members of the community who provide us with valuable information. Whilst we may not act on information immediately, we are listening to you so please continue to report anything suspicious.
“There is nowhere to hide in this county for drug dealers and those who seek to exploit the vulnerabilities of others.”
Abbas and Pilgrim were sentenced at the same court on Thursday. Abbas was handed 30 months in prison and Pilgrim was sentenced to 27 months.
Information about drug dealing can be reported via www.cambs.police.uk/report or by calling 101.