A drug dealer seen panicking by police after a sniffer dog entered a pub in Kent has been jailed.
Joseph Ball had supplies of cocaine hidden in his underwear when officers suddenly entered the pub in Northfleet last year, as he was eating a meal.
Ball had been inside the London Road premises during the evening of 19 November unaware of a proactive police operation targeting drugs supply within local bars and pubs.
The constables entered at around 7.30pm, along with a passive drugs dog and Ball was immediately seen acting suspiciously and appearing alarmed.
He was detained for a search and almost £2,000 in cash was seized from a trouser pocket, along with a phone which kept ringing. Three bags containing cocaine were found concealed in his underwear.
The 36-year-old was arrested and his home in Pier Road, Gravesend was searched where a further £12,000 was recovered, including bundles of cash found hidden under a bed. More drugs were also seized from the address.
Ball was charged with possessing cocaine with intent to supply and possessing criminal property, namely the seized cash.
He pleaded guilty and on Wednesday 25 January was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to three years and four months’ imprisonment.
DC Martin Stevens of North Kent CID said: ‘We run these proactive operations on a regular basis as they act as an effective deterrent to dealers operating within bars, pubs and clubs.
'Our highly-trained dogs will indicate to officers those potentially involved in drugs supply and their presence is also a reminder to criminals that police officers can be anywhere at any time.
'The majority of people are out enjoying themselves and welcome this type of enforcement and having a visible presence also means we are able to identify persistent offenders such as Ball, as well as deter other criminality.’