South Tyneside drugs dealer jailed after undercover police sting

A drugs dealer is beginning nearly four years behind bars after an undercover sting which has ended with the jailing of 20 Class A suppliers.

Sam Cottrell, 29, of Tide Spring Row, Hebburn, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for three years and nine months yesterday.

He was part of a gang who were supplying cocaine and other Class A drugs in Newcastle city centre bars and nightclubs during 2017.

Four venues were closed and 50 people arrested after the undercover Operation Doncaster was launched by Northumbria Police in response to traders’ concerns.

Hebburn drug dealer Sam Cottrell is beginning nearly four years behind bars.

Cottrell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, four counts of supplying a Class A drug, possession of a Class A drug and possession of criminal property.

Chief Inspector David Picket afterwards slammed the “glamorisation of cocaine” which led to a growing culture of drug use in the city centre. He added: “Known drug dealers were afforded celebrity status. They didn’t pay entry, didn’t queue, were seated in VIP areas and given free drinks.

“There was a glamorisation of drugs that was seen as normal and some young men with no previous criminal convictions got drawn into this criminality.

“Whether they were selling drugs themselves, or passing on numbers of street dealers, these men were complicit in the widespread supply of Class A drugs.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing can call police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.