Images found on driver's phone led police to Maidstone drugs hide
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A Maidstone drug dealer has been jailed after photos on his phone led police to a flat which he used to hide cocaine and cash.
Redi Dushku was at the wheel of a Mercedes stopped by officers last year, when he initially claimed he had been travelling to meet a man about a car washing job.
The vehicle had been linked to suspicious activity in the town, when it was searched by a patrol on 24 October 2021 after stopping in Upper Fant Road.
Paperwork was found with Dushku’s name on and which related to a police investigation in Staffordshire about a cannabis cultivation.
The 27-year-old was questioned about his movements and directed an officer to a contact saved on his phone, in an effort to convince them he was meeting someone linked to his claims about a job.
After being passed the phone, the officer also noticed a photo on the device of what appeared to be a large-scale cannabis cultivation. Another image was found, of a letter addressed to a flat in Bower Place, Maidstone.
A police search team attended the property and entered using keys found in Dushku’s possession.
They located more than 80 deal bags of cocaine, which had been secreted in a kitchen extraction fan. Cash totalling almost £2,000 was also seized.
When Dushku was questioned he claimed it was first time he had ever driven into Maidstone. However, the investigation proved the Mercedes had made repeated journeys to the town and Dushku was also captured on local CCTV entering the car the day before, on 23 October.
Dushku, of no fixed address, was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply and with driving without insurance.
He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and was sentenced on Thursday 10 February 2022, to two years' imprisonment.
Detective Sergeant Richard Crowhurst of west Kent CID said: ‘Redi Dushku fulfilled a significant role in an organised criminal network to supply Class A drugs and his sentence is the latest in a number of recent successful convictions of dealers who have tried to operate in Maidstone. ‘Cases such as this reinforce our determination and commitment to identify criminals, who often travel from other areas of the country and mistakenly assume we are a soft touch. 'I’d like to reassure residents that we will continue to deal robustly with anyone involved in the supply of drugs, to ensure that they get the punishment they deserve.’