Drug dealer jailed after selling heroin to undercover police officer

David Elliott Credit: Northumbria Police

A heroin dealer is behind bars after an undercover police officer posed as a customer.

David Elliott, 39, has been jailed for more than three years after being arrested by Northumbria Police as part of Operation Salvator.

Detectives had launched the investigation last year after the number of drugs deaths in the borough tripled between 2017 and 2018.

Plain-clothed officers spent hundreds of hours carrying out surveillance of suspects they believed to be supplying Class A drugs to vulnerable users.

The investigation also saw officers purchasing drugs off a number of dealers operating across Gateshead.

Elliott was one of those dealers and Newcastle Crown Court heard how he sold two wraps of heroin to an undercover police officer in October 2018.

He was one of 60 suspects arrested in one of the biggest days of action ever carried out by Northumbria Police in April last year.

The Operation Salvator activities also saw detectives raid 37 addresses, seizing drugs, cash and weapons.

Elliott, of Keats Walks, Gateshead, was later charged with two counts of supplying a Class A drug, namely heroin. He admitted the offences and on September 11 the drug dealer was jailed for three years and two months at Newcastle Crown Court.

Operation Salvator was a significant investigation and has put a huge dent in the drugs trade in Gateshead. We launched this operation because of a very concerning increase in drug-related deaths and ultimately our goal was to safeguard vulnerable people in Gateshead.

Chief Inspector Alan Pitchford

The court heard how Elliott has a string of previous convictions, including multiple offences of selling Class A drugs.

As well as his custodial sentence he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170.