Three men have been jailed for a total of 22 years following investigations into the supply of cocaine in Eastbourne.
The trio were identified as a result of police intelligence, including a tenacious police dog called Basil, and sentenced after hundreds of thousands worth of cash and Class A drugs were discovered.
Agim Toska appeared at Lewes Crown Court on August 23, where he was sentenced to a total of nine years and seven months’ imprisonment for being concerned in the supply of cocaine; being concerned in the supply of cannabis; and possession of criminal property.
Marsel Toska appeared at Lewes Crown Court on August 16, where he was sentenced to a total of six years and nine months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to supply; and possession of false identification documentation.
Artur Schuli appeared at Lewes Crown Court on August 16, where he was sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to supply.
Police executed a search warrant at an address in Ashford Road on March 14, where they found a plastic tub beneath the floorboards.
Inside was a white vest top wrapped around a bag which contained approximately 750g of pressed cocaine, with an estimated street value of £75,000.
Also found in the room was a vacuum sealed plastic bag containing approximately 5kg of cannabis with an estimated street value of £50,000.
Police said the contents were submitted for forensic examination which resulted in a DNA hit for Agim Toska, of Milton Road, Eastbourne.
The 25-year-old was arrested at a business premises linked to him in Seaside on April 8.
Further search warrants were executed, and a large quantity of cash was discovered hidden in different locations around his house – £14,000 behind a kitchen kick-board, £30,000 behind another kitchen kick-board, £151,000 under the kitchen sink, £2,555 from a bedside cabinet, and £4,165 in a cardboard box in the bedroom.
Numerous mobile phones, paperwork and a single wrap of cocaine were also seized, police said.
In a separate case, officers acting on intelligence stopped a silver Toyota Yaris in Howard Square on July 12. The driver was detained and identified as Artur Schuli, 37, a car valeter, of no fixed address.
He was shown as wanted on a European Arrest Warrant in Italy for Class A drugs offences.
Warrants for the search of his person and his vehicle were executed, and initially nothing was found. However, Police Dog Basil – a Springer Spaniel – was tasked to carry out a further search, and he indicated towards the driver’s door panel. Within this were two small wraps of cocaine and a sock which contained a large brick of cocaine weighing at 506g – with an estimated street value of up to £50,000.
Schuli’s house was searched and further evidence of drug dealing was found, including several heavy duty presses, approximately 2.5kg of cocaine split into smaller blocks, approximately 150g of cannabis wrapped in cling-film and metal press plates to be used with the presses.
While Schuli’s car was subjected to the search, another man carrying a yellow carrier bag was seen walking towards his vehicle, before walking away again when he realised what was going on.
The man, identified as Marsel Toska (the cousin of Agim Toska), 22, unemployed, of Devonshire Place, Eastbourne, was stopped and searched, and within the bag was approximately £16,000 cash.
A subsequent search of his flat was carried out, and a number of items were found including blocks of cocaine totalling approximately 350g, approximately 40 re-sealable bags of cocaine, three wraps of cannabis, several small empty re-sealable bags, cash totalling approximately £2,000, three retractable batons and a false passport.
Police said examination of Schuli’s and Marsel Toska’s mobile phones further linked them to the crimes. All three suspects were charged to court and pleaded guilty to the offences put to them.
If you suspect someone is concerned in the possession or supply of drugs in your area, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.