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A drug dealer from Salford who gambled his £190k in dirty cash and class A drugs by storing it in a Cops 'N' Robbers-themed fruit machine has been jailed for five years after being rumbled by detectives blitzing organised crime in the city.
Anthony Stephenson, 34, was jailed at Manchester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 2 December) - just two days before his 35th birthday - after admitting possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing cocaine, and money laundering.
The result followed the execution of three warrants by officers from Operation Naseby - Salford's taskforce dedicated to disrupting and dismantling the city's organised crime - in June at addresses on Old School Court, Mitcheson Gardens, and his home address of Westwood Crescent.
During the searches, our officers hit the jackpot - finding nearly £200k in cash and cocaine packaged for supply - after coming across a fruit machine fittingly themed as Cops 'N' Robbers that contained locked safe deposit boxes.
Stephenson was subsequently arrested and taken to custody before appearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates'' Court the next day (Friday 4 June) where he admitted the offences put before him.
He has now been sentenced to serve a total of five years in jail; three years and four months for possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and one year and eight months for money laundering.
The action comes as part of GMP Salford's Operation Naseby - a dedicated taskforce to tackling and disrupting organised crime in the city.
Since its inception of the 'disruption hub' in April 2020, it has seen a notable decrease in organised crime activity, including a 40% drop in firearms discharges between April 2020 and March 2021.
A total of 250 arrests have been made, over £500k in cash has been recovered and substantial amounts of class A and B drugs have been seized - with dozens of targets now behind bars.
The team has recently been funded with a further £95,000 to continue the assault on offenders, which you can read more about here: Extra funding for Salford operation driving down organised crime in city | Greater Manchester Police (gmp.police.uk)
Anyone with information or concerns should contact police online, if able, via www.gmp.police.uk, or 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.