Thomas O’Toole was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after mobile phone data showed he had been offering the Class A drug to more than 120 users.
A Kent Police investigation uncovered evidence of O’Toole’s operation from January 2021. Enquiries into a suspected drugs line initially linked a phone number to an address in Trench Road, which O’Toole was known to have links to. The line was being used to send regular marketing messages offering drugs for sale.
On 20 April, an officer on patrol stopped O’Toole, who told the constable he was collecting waste and scrap metal as a means to earn money. The admission proved to be important, as one of the drugs supply texts previously connected to the phone line had also been found to contain wording offering free scrap metal collection.
During the early hours of 7 May, a search warrant was then executed at O’Toole’s Audley Avenue home. This led to recovery of the mobile phone linked to the deal line. It appeared to have been hastily dismantled an in attempt to make it inoperative. Quantities of cocaine, cannabis and cash were also seized.
O’Toole, aged 27, was charged with being concerned in the supply of cocaine, as well as two counts of possessing drugs. At Maidstone Crown Court he pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Thursday 15 July.
PC James O’Gorman of the Tonbridge Community Policing Team said: ‘O’Toole is a repeat and prolific offender, who despite previous convictions and prison sentences clearly has no intention of changing his ways. He was arrested as a result of some determined and excellent policing by local officers and ultimately this has prevented a significant amount of drugs from being distributed onto the streets. Criminals like O’Toole wrongly believe they can operate with impunity. We are showing time and time again that the reality is that drug dealers who try and operate in our communities can expect a robust response and ultimately a prison sentence.’