Hotel staff tip off police on dealers
A PAIR of London drug dealers who used a Swindon hotel as their local base were caught when hotel staff became suspicious about their activities.
Swindon Crown Court heard how workers at the Premier Inn at Kembrey Park contacted police when they realised what Ryan Denny and Jake Hill were up to.
And a third member of the gang Ji Forte, 28, from Reading, was also snared by officers investigating dealing in Swindon and Chippenham.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said 23-year-old Hill and Denny, 22, booked into adjoining rooms at the hotel on December 31, 2012.
After a couple of days staff at the hotel realised what was going on and told the police about the men who had had links to West London gangs in the past.
Police raided the room in January last year and recovered evidence of drug dealing including mobile phones and a set of house keys.
The next day they went to a property on Dean Street, Rodbourne – rented by Denny some weeks earlier.
Using the keys to get in they found a items linked to the men including David Lloyd gym passes and train tickets with their fingerprints.
Also recovered was 43 grams of heroin and 59 grams of cocaine with a combined street value of about £5,000 and bags for making street wraps.
On the day of the hotel raid the police had also gone to a flat at Sheringham Court in Liden where there was evidence of drugs having been cut and packaged.
Miss Hingston said a quantity of lactose was found. A young woman who was cleaning the property was found with a small amount of cocaine and arrested.
That evening Forte went to the police station to ask after the woman and when he was arrested was found with two wraps of heroin hidden on him and £828 in cash.
His DNA had been found on a toothbrush at a house in Chippenham which had been raided shortly before Christmas and he had been in contact with Hill and Denny.
Among text messages exchanged between the three was one from Forte telling them Chippenham was “ripe for exploiting” for trade in hard drugs.
Denny, of Streatham, and Hill, of Kensington, and Forte, of Reading, Berkshire, admitted conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine.
The court was told both Hill and Denny had previous convictions in the capital for trading in class A drugs.
Daniel Jameson, for Hill, said they had not lived an extravagant lifestyle on the trade staying in the Premier Inn and buying designer clothes at outlet stores.
He said after a previous jail term he had been staying on friends’ sofas and was offered work and accommodation in Swindon so took it.
Timothy Greene, for Denny, said his client was sorry for what he had done and that he had used his time in custody on remand to better himself and hoped to start a degree course.
Will Woodman, for Forte, said his client was the lesser player of the three, effectively being their runner and was an addict at the time getting paid in drugs.
He said he had not been to Dean Street or the hotel and had only gone to the Sheringham Court address the day he was arrested.
Passing sentence, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “These of course were serious offences involving the distribution of Class A drugs on a significant scale.
“The police went to the Premier Inn at Kembrey Park as it was obvious to the people who worked there and the police that you were using the rooms there as a local base for your drug supplying operation.
“The facts of this case reveal to an extent a good degree of planning so far as class A drugs in Wiltshire are concerned.”
He jailed Hill and Denny for four years and three months each and Forte for two years.