A motorist stopped by police in Maidstone for not wearing a seatbelt has been sentenced to four years in prison after it was discovered he had driven to the town to deal drugs.

Peter Sowatskey was caught supplying cocaine and cannabis from his Mercedes after patrols followed the car amid suspicions of traffic offences.

The vehicle caught the attention of police during the morning of 12 February 2020. As well as spotting the driver not wearing a seat belt officers also smelled cannabis coming from a window. Sowatskey was stopped a short distance away.

A search of the Mercedes led to the discovery of a rucksack containing cocaine and cannabis. Around £1,515 in cash was found in both a coat pocket and the vehicle.

He was arrested and after initially providing police with a false address, his home in Martin Road, Rochester was then searched where in a loft officers discovered further drugs.

In total more than a kilogram of cocaine and at least 10 kilograms of cannabis were seized, along with £24,266 in cash.

Phones belonging to Sowatskey provided further evidence of his supply network; containing bulk messages advertising the latest deals.

As officers sought to build a successful case Sowatskey, aged 34, was bailed to return to a police station. However, he breached bail conditions and was arrested again at a guest house in Cornwall on 15 February. More cannabis was seized as well as a further £20,000 in cash.

At Maidstone Crown Court Sowatskey pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply, possessing cannabis with intent to supply, possessing cannabis and two counts of possessing criminal property (namely the cash seized). On 21 December 2020, he was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for two years after admitting two further counts of driving with a proportion of a controlled drug above the specified limit.

Detective Constable Hannah Barker of West Kent CID said: ‘Sowatskey was caught on the back of robust and alert policing from local patrols. It soon became clear he was involved in a significant supply chain to deal drugs in Maidstone and he now finds himself as simply another dealer in prison.

‘This latest sentence should act as a reminder to other criminals that we have both uniformed and plain clothed patrols committed to tackling the supply of drugs into our towns. The message remains the same, if you try to operate in our communities expect to be caught, expect to go to prison.’

By Ed

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