Published: 14:19, 06 July 2020
| Updated: 15:22, 06 July 2020
A man caught supplying drugs from a shopping centre car park in Tunbridge Wells has been jailed for more than two years.
Endrit Cerpja was found with cocaine, cannabis and a fake driving licence when he was stopped by officers in the Royal Victoria Place car park last November.
Cerpja, of no fixed address, had been at the wheel of a red Honda Insight when officers approached the vehicle and immediately smelt cannabis.
Eight deals of cocaine as well as cannabis were seized from the vehicle. Cerpja was also carrying almost £500 in cash and a fake Italian driving licence. Checks confirmed the 23-year-old was in fact Albanian.
Cerpja was arrested and during police a interview he claimed he had been trafficked to the UK against his will three years ago. He said he had been ordered to supply drugs to repay a debt to an organised gang.
He was charged with drug possession with intent to supply along with providing false identity documents.
After pleading guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, Cerpja was sentenced to two years and six months’ imprisonment.
"The reality is that he was simply another dealer who wrongly thought he could operate in Tunbridge Wells, without consequence"
Sgt Ed Kavanagh, of the Tunbridge Wells Community Policing Team, said: "Cerpja wanted us to believe that he was the victim; with claims he had been coerced to supply drugs and was the subject of offences relating to modern day slavery.
"This was shown to be a pack of lies and the reality is that he was simply another dealer who wrongly thought he could operate in Tunbridge Wells, without consequence.
"This sentence is just the latest in a number of recent successful convictions of drug dealers who have tried to target Tunbridge Wells.
"It illustrates just how effective our officers are in identifying offenders, many of whom are travelling from other areas of the country, assuming we are a soft touch.
"I’d like to reassure residents that we will continue to deal robustly with anyone involved in the supply of drugs, to ensure that they get the punishment they deserve. There will be no let up."
More by this authorLiane Castle
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