A DEALER who targeted communities in Southend will be deported after serving jail time for selling Class A drugs.

Aurel Elmazi tried to convince police officers he was a victim of modern slavery and was being exploited when he was caught with 58 wraps of drugs.

The 21-year-old, from Giffords Cross Road, in Corringham, was stopped by officers who spotted his vehicle being driven suspiciously in Westcliff.

During the traffic stop by Essex Police’s drug team, Operation Raptor, which took place in Milton Street on March 14 this year, Elmazi was arrested and taken into custody.

Once there, officers conducted a search and recovered 37 wraps of crack cocaine and 21 wraps of heroin.

They also seized a phone on which there were messages confirming he had been participating in drug dealing activities.

Elmazi, who is originally from Albania, was charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs as well as driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

He appeared at Basildon Crown Court on August 28 to admit all the offences and was sentenced to three years and one month in prison.

The courts ordered the drugs to be destroyed and that Elmazi be deported to Albania once he serves his sentence.

A spokesperson for the South Op Raptor team: “Elmazi claimed he was a victim of modern slavery, something we have continued to contest.

“It was proven he was a drug dealer who targeted Southend communities and he had no choice but to admit the offences.

“Not only have we removed yet another drug dealer off our streets, 37 wraps of crack cocaine and 21 wraps of heroin have been seized and will be destroyed.

“Elmazi will spend time locked in a prison cell for his drug dealing activities before being deported to Albania.”

Essex Police set up Operation Raptor teams in the north, south and west of the county to tackle drug and gang-related crime across the county.

If you have information or concerns about drug or gang-related crime in your community contact Essex Police by calling 101.

Alternatively, contact independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents can also share information online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.