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'Smirking' drug dealer begins prison sentence
WHEN he was arrested drug dealer Matthew Taylor showed no shame and appeared defiant.
The 40-year-old was captured gesturing at the cameras as he was led away handcuffed to a police officer following a raid.
Then shortly afterwards, as he posed for an official police mugshot after he was charged with dealing drugs on Southampton’s streets, he still had a smile on his face.
But today the heroin and cocaine dealer is locked up and facing more than two years behind bars.
He is the latest criminal to be imprisoned following a series of raids that were launched simultaneously across the city as part of the ongoing Operation Fortress initiative.
Taylor was first caught dealing drugs on the city’s streets and was arrested outside his home in Commercial Road on February 20 where he was found to have 16 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine and a deal list.
Further deal lists were found inside the address.
Taylor was arrested again later in the year at his home on September 19 as part of a series of warrants conducted across the city.
He was detained on suspicion of supplying drugs on another two occasions.
At Southampton Crown Court the 40-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of supplying class A drugs and two counts of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.
He was sentenced to 28 months in prison.
DC Simon Woods, from the Operation Fortress team, said: “Taylor had been using drugs for about the last ten years, but it was only recently that his habit got worse and he took to dealing to fund the habit.
“He had been working as a full-time qualified engineer but lost his job. I understand his relationship broke down and it would appear his life spiralled out of control.
“Through Operation Fortress we want to reduce the demand for drugs in the long run and the harm caused by drug-related crimes. The campaign has worked to bring together agencies to support people made vulnerable through drug use, help them kick the habit and divert them away from crime.
“I hope Taylor is able to benefit from that support and that his sentencing serves as a reminder to others that the help is available.”
Operation Fortress is the Daily Echo-backed campaign to reduce the harm of drug-related violence in and around Southampton.
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