A DRUG dealer was jailed for seven years after he was arrested by a specialist drugs squad.

Officers from the Operation Raptor team were patrolling Basildon on July 18 last year when they spotted a White Mercedes on Nether Priors.

The passenger in the car, 24-year-old Abdul Quleten, was seen to get out of the car and head to a nearby underpass.

Quleten, of Frampton Park Road, East London, was stopped in the underpass where he was found with £270 cash and a mobile phone.

Officers then searched the vehicle where they found more than £700 in cash and various mobile phones.

The phones contained incriminating messages linking Quleten to the supply of the Class A drugs crack cocaine and heroin.

He was charged with being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine.

Following a trial at Wood Green Crown Court, Quleten was found guilty and jailed for a total of seven years.

His sentence was made up of two three-and-a-half years sentences, which the judge ordered to run consecutively, for the offences committed in Essex and further offences carried out in the Metropolitan Police area.

Following the sentencing, Sgt Ben Woollard, of the South Operation Raptor team, said: “The length of Quleten’s sentence is reflective of just how seriously both police and our criminal justice partners take the offence of dealing Class A drugs.

“Drug dealers, like Quleten, have no regard for those they ply their illegal wares to or the communities they blight by doing so.

“But wherever drug dealers try to prey, they can rest assured that Essex Police’s Operation Raptor teams will be ready and waiting to arrest them and put them before the courts.”

Hanad Abdisalam of Holcroft Road, London - who was the driver of the Mercedes and was arrested at the same time as Quleten - was also charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

He previously admitted the charge at a hearing at Basildon Crown Court in April this year and was jailed for four years.

Anyone with information about drug or gang-related crime can contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.