A “PROMISING dancer” who got involved with selling class A drugs after building up a drugs debt has been jailed for five year.

Tarik Msaouri, from Enfield, Middlesex appeared at Winchester Crown Court having pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The court heard how the 22-year-old had played a roll in supplying drugs in the Basingstoke and Tadley area in March 2018 for a drugs operation known as the WEZ Network.

During the hearing prosecutor Mark Ruffell told the court how Msaouri had been “deployed” from dealing drugs in Bournemouth to Basingstoke by the “king pin” of the operation Ahmet Karagozlu – who was sentenced to eight years and eight months for his involvement in the conspiracy.

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The prosecution said that during the period of March 1 to March 30 2018 Msaouri was travel back and forth between Basingstoke and London to “reload” dealers with drugs and take money back.

The court heard that on a number of occasions Msaouri was callings taxis and organising deals from a property in Abbey Road, Popley, which is believed to have been "cuckooed" by the gang.

Mr Ruffell said: “As one point he is organising a local drug dealer, I say organising because there seems to be little other reason to be in contact with this dealer when Msaouri is in Enfield at the time.”

Mr Ruffell also said that Msaouri played a “significant role” in the drugs operation as he “handed over” dealings to Tyler Gilford-Farley – who was sentenced to four years and nine mouths in relation to the conspiracy.

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Defending the 22-year-old, Barry McElduff, said that the defendant, even though “a person of trust” was never “a part of the gang”.

Mr McElduff said the defendant became involved in smoking weed from the age of 16 when he had to start caring for his mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer and suffered a number of heart problems.

The defence told the court that Msaouri was a promising performing arts student who appeared in a number of productions of Lord of the Flies and attended Hertfordshire University before having to drop out to care for his mum.

Mr McElduff said: “He started smoking weed at 16 as the pressures of looking after his mother were becoming too much.

“From here he built up a drug debt and this is how he got involved with selling drugs.”

In sentencing Judge Richard Parkes said: “Even though he [Msaouri] was not a member of this gang it is clear that he was trusted by them.

“When he was arrested he was found to be in possession of two mobile phones and it is the analysis of those phones which has linked him to this conspiracy.”

Msaouri was sentenced to five years in jail for each of the four counts to run concurrently.

This is the twelfth person to be sentenced in connection with this particular county lines drug operation.