DRUG dealers who ply their trade in Worcester will be jailed as a police commander and a senior judge warned that the city is 'not a soft touch'.

Judge Robert Juckes QC issued a stark warning as he jailed a cocaine dealer at Worcester Crown Court this week, sending out the message that others who peddle class A drugs can expect to be locked up.

Judges in Worcester and Hereford have jailed four dealers for a combined total of 17 years since the beginning of this year, one of them foiled by an eagle-eyed detective on his day off.

So far this year police in Worcester have arrested eleven individuals for drugs supply offences, eight of them charged and remanded to prison as officers seek to sever supply lines from larger cities like Liverpool and Birmingham and disrupt the activities of so-called 'County Lines' drugs dealers

Farooq Ali was jailed for four years at Hereford Crown Court on Monday by Judge Nicholas Cole for dealing heroin and crack cocaine in the Shrub Hill Retail Park in Worcester.

Read more: Off duty police officer foils Worcester drug dealer

Also at Hereford Crown Court, London-based dealers Nejmi Atalar and Mertcan Dereli were each jailed for five years by Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins QC for a conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine in Diglis, Worcester.

Read more: Drug dealers were living the high life - now they are in jail

Judge Juckes jailed a cocaine dealer, Alexander Heppe, for two years at Worcester Crown Court this week.

We previously reported how Judge Juckes sentenced a Worcester drugs gang led by Ashley James to more than 75 years in prison in November 2017.

James alone got 18 years after the gang was convicted of bringing in least 12kg of cocaine (conservatively estimated to have a street value of £400,000) to Worcester.

The following year he jailed another city cocaine dealer, Mohammed Nasar, dubbed 'the puppet master' and his lieutenants for more than 50 years after police cracked another conspiracy linked to the James gang.

Nasar, jailed for 17 years, was a 'wholesaler' supplying cocaine in bulk to the James gang to sell on the streets of Worcester.

Judge Juckes said on Tuesday: "If you get caught dealing cocaine you go to prison. It's a message this court seeks to send out through all the judges passing sentence.

"If you get caught it's a prison sentence and the intention is that it should be a deterrent."

South Worcestershire police commander, Superintendent Damian Pettit, said: "These strong sentences are evidence that individuals convicted of drugs offences will be firmly dealt with through the court system and the public can be reassured that we are all doing what we can to protect them from many forms of harm caused by the use and dealing of these substances.

"Worcester is not a soft touch and there will be no easy pickings for those involved in using or supplying drugs. Our Proactive Criminal Investigation Department work hard to investigate drugs offences, drawing information from a range of agencies, sophisticated technology and intelligence from members of the public. These sentences are another example illustrating that when we catch you, you will have your freedom taken from you.

“Worcester is not somewhere you can get away with harming our communities and you have been given notice.

“We really appreciate the local community working with us by reporting any suspicious activity. Even information that may seem insignificant could just be the final part of the jigsaw for us."

Cocaine dealer Alexander Heppe was visibly shocked by the custodial term handed out at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday. But Judge Juckes told him: "The offence itself means that an immediate custodial sentence should, as a matter of principle, be passed."

Heppe, 28, of Kent Road, Halesowen, admitted possession of cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply as well as possession of each of those drugs.

Alec Small, prosecuting, said officers found a tin under the driver's seat of his car in Bromsgrove on March 25 last year.

Inside that tin was a parcel with two further bags containing a white powder and a a third containing vegetable matter. They also found a cannabis grinder.

Officers seized 10.4g of cocaine with a street value placed at £550 and arranged into individual deal wraps. They also found 5.84g of cannabis worth £50 to £60.

Police seized his iPhone and found references to 'cocoa' and 'cola' which Mr Small said were both 'slang for cocaine'.

Danny Smith, defending, said of Heppe: "This is not someone who is massively profiteering out of his dealing."

Mr Smith said Heppe, a landscape gardener, had shown remorse and recognised the impact that dealing had which he said 'carries through to his timely guilty plea'.

Mr Smith described Heppe's parents as 'both of poor health', his father bed-bound with cancer while his mother suffered a stroke four years ago.

Mr Smith argued that his client had a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and it was unlikely he would find himself before the criminal courts again.

But Judge Juckes jailed Heppe, telling him: "The difficulty is that we have to deal with young men like you who are in many other ways completely decent."

If you have any information relating to drug offences in your local area you can report them to West Mercia Police on 101 or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.