Belfast Telegraph

PSNI sting takes drug dealing quartet off the streets

By Michael Donnelly

Four heroin dealers caught in a police sting operation have each been jailed for a year.

Luis Felipe Damas (32), Patricio Jorge Humberto Santas (40), Helio Goncalves (35) and Antonio Joe Gregorio Sousa (49) will serve another year on licence.

The defendants, who gave addresses with the Simon Community, were held by police looking into heroin in Cookstown.

Prosecution lawyer Michael McAleer said an undercover officer had phone and video records of 10 drug deals the men had been involved in.

Dungannon Crown Court judge Gemma Loughran told the defendants heroin was a scourge on society and that it was her duty to punish them.

She also told how each man was a vital part of a larger chain, and how that must be reflected in their sentencing.

But judge Loughran added she was prepared to give them a substantial discount for their guilty pleas, which saved court time and expense – in particular the cost of training an undercover officer whose identity could have been revealed in future proceedings.

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