TWO drug dealers who "profited from the misery of users" in Southend have been jailed after illicit substances, cash and a BB gun were seized.

Police raided a property in York Road on December 20, 2022, when 38-year-old Donal Francis and 37-year-old Jodi Thompson were arrested inside and several wraps of suspected Class A drugs were seized.

Both Francis and Thomson were charged with possession with intent to supply cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, as Essex Police's serious and organised crime unit continued their investigation.

Wraps containing each of the Class A drugs were found throughout the property, divided up into weights to be sold individually.

Echo: The paper tabs advertising drug dealingThe paper tabs advertising drug dealing (Image: Essex Police)

More materials were found in the property used in the preparation of Class A drugs, as well as household objects - including a Red Bull can - converted into hides, scales covered in white powders, and a BB gun with metal pellets.

Mobile devices were found in the property with hundreds of messages connected to drugs supply. One of the mobiles, found when officers searched Thompson, was associated with a phone number written on paper tabs believed to be used to promote drug dealing.

In total, almost 25g of Class A drugs were found throughout the property, with a value of more than £2,200.

Despite the overwhelming evidence in the flat, Francis answered no comment to all questions in his interview.

Echo: Red Bull can converted into drugs hideRed Bull can converted into drugs hide (Image: Essex Police)

Thompson admitted using Class A drugs, but claimed the mobile phone associated with the promotional paper tabs was borrowed from a friend. She denied the paper tabs were written by her or Francis.

Both were remanded in custody while the cases progressed through the courts. Francis denied all charges against him, and Thompson admitted to all but one charge against her.

Both were found guilty of their outstanding charges and both were found guilty of possession with intent to supply cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.

On 27 March, Thompson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison at Basildon Crown Court.

Francis was sentenced to two years and 11 months in prison at Basildon Crown Court on Monday.

Echo: Some of the heroin foundSome of the heroin found (Image: Essex Police)

Detective Inspector Yoni Adler, of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “It has taken 18 months but we have finally seen both these defendants face justice.

“The drugs they were clearly dealing from their address in Southend are dangerous, unregulated substances.

“They threaten the lives of drug users, and fuel a cycle of crime where only Thompson and Francis benefitted from the profits generated from the misery of others.

“Our work to drive down drug-related crime in Essex has seen almost 500 fewer offences recorded in the 12 months to March 2024. Every warrant, seizure and arrest moves to further disrupt this criminality.”