Two men sentenced for drugs offences

Issued on 11/8/17 at 4:33 p.m.

Two men, who tried to evade police by dumping a kilogram of high purity cocaine into the River Soar, have been sentenced.

Shannon Riley and Ezra Sterling were arrested after an investigation was carried out by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).

In January this year, both men were seen to have been within a silver Ford Focus parked in Leicester where an exchange of drugs took place. When police descended, the pair drove off.

Travelling on a bridge over the River Soar, Riley then threw a plastic ‘bag for life’ into the water below.

The bag was subsequently recovered by officers and found to contain just over a kilogram of high purity cocaine, valued at around £45,000 and, once cut with an adulterant, attracting a street value worth many times this amount.

Both men were arrested the following month and recovered from Sterling’s home address was a quantity of dealer bags.

At an earlier hearing, Shannon Riley, 26, of Faversham Close in Leicester, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and Ezra Sterling, 25, of Blairmore Road in Leicester, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs and assisting an offender.

Both were sentenced today (11 August). Riley was handed a five year, eight month prison sentence. Sterling was given a 12 month suspended sentence and 100 hours unpaid work.

EMSOU Detective Sergeant Lindsay O’Nion said: “The quick actions by attending officers, with help from a local canoeist, to retrieve the jettisoned drugs from the river secured vital evidence and ultimately prevented a significant amount of drugs from reaching the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“The evidence gathered by a dedicated team of officers, from EMSOU, Leicestershire Police and the East Midlands Operational Support Service, was so strong, it left the defendants with no option but to plead guilty to their offences.

“Whether it be low level dealing, or highly organised trafficking and distribution, we are committed to tackling all drug offences and putting those responsible before the courts.”

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