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Southampton man sentenced to more than six years in prison for drugs offences

A 39-year-old man has been sentenced to six years and six months in prison on various drug offences in Southampton after being caught by officers in the city centre.

Ryan Beckford, of Church Street, London, was jailed at Southampton Crown Court on Friday, 21 May, having pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

The court heard that police officers in an unmarked car in Above Bar Street on 19 April this year spotted Beckford involved in an altercation with another man.

They searched him and discovered four tubs marked ‘Xanax’ filled with pills in his man bag, as well as £1,600 in cash.

At Southampton Police station, officers checked the rest of his belongings and also seized items including a set of scales, cling film and a bank card not in his name.

Drugs tests later confirmed the tubs did contain 250 Xanax tablets and that he possessed five ounces of cocaine as well as crack cocaine, cannabis and 5-Fluro-ADB, a Class B synthetic drug.

The court heard how when questioned by police, Beckford claimed the money was to buy a dog for his family.

But he later pleaded guilty to:

Possession with intent to supply Class A drugs – cocaine
Possession with intent to supply Class C drugs – Alprazolam (Xanax)
Possession of a Class A drug – crack cocaine
Possession of a Class B drug – cannabis
Possession of a Class B drug – 5-FluroADB (Synthetic Cannabinoid)
As well as being jailed, Beckford also had to forfeit the £1,600 and the drugs were destroyed.

Sgt Gavin Williams said: “This is a great result which has taken dangerous drugs off our streets.

“Thanks to the quick thinking of officers in Southampton’s High Harm Team, Beckford was identified as being involved in drug activity which ultimately led to him being put behind bars.

“For anyone out there dealing drugs, I hope this sends a strong message that we are determined to stamp out this harmful crime in our community.

“If anyone suspects that drug dealing is happening in their neighbourhood, please contact us by using our online reporting portal or by calling 101.

“Every call helps to strengthen our intelligence picture and bring offenders to justice.”

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