HE turned to dealing drugs to pay off his cannabis debt.

Now Junior Antwi faces a lengthy period behind bars after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The 21-year-old, who came to Southampton from London to supply heroin and crack cocaine, was arrested when police executed a warrant on his home in Chiswell Street, London, on September 19.

It was one of a series of co-ordinated warrants carried out on properties in both cities as part of Operation Fortress.

Southampton Crown Court heard how he dealt drugs because he owed money as a result of his own habit.

He was jailed for two years and eight months.

DC Simon Woods, from the Operation Fortress team, said: “Antwi travelled down from London and built up connections with drug users on the south coast.

“He told Southampton Crown Court that he was dealing to pay off the debt he'd accrued through a cannabis habit.

“Our investigation showed that he was also trying to set up and run his own network of dealers in Southampton. Since taking him off the streets, that network has ceased to exist.

“One of the aims of Operation Fortress is to identify vulnerable drug users who, like Antwi may have been, are living in fear or debt because of their addiction. We want to help them get the support they need to escape a life a crime and so reduce the demand for drugs.”