A drug dealer has been jailed after police raided the city centre hub of his cocaine supply business and found two automatic handguns. Mike Kabeya, 24, ran a drugs supply operation from a plush apartment at South Tower in Manchester city centre.
But his illegal trade came to an end when police raided the flat on Owen Street on March 26. Inside the property, cops found two Retay automatic handguns, ammunition, high-purity cocaine, scales, snap bags, mobile phones and business cards which read ‘delivery anywhere 24/7’. Officers also found £3,160 as well as €595 and evidence of cryptocurrency.
The cash was found in a bag in a desk in the living room alongside Kabeya’s driving licence, national insurance card and a lock knife, prosecutor Juliet Berry told Manchester Crown Court on Thursday. More cash was found in the kitchen as well as snap bags, scales and a cash counting machine.
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“Officers observed there was a large quantity of high value training shoes and accessories such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton,” said Ms Berry.
Some 30g of high-purity cocaine worth up to £2,700 was also found at the flat.
Kabeya had rented the apartment in the false name of Harrison Bright, the court was told. When he was arrested, Kabeya made no comment during his police interview, according to the prosecutor.
The defendant had ten previous sets of convictions covering 25 offences, including one fraud for which he was handed a suspended prison sentence when he was 17.
Katherine Pierpoint, defending, told the court: “It’s conceded there will be a lengthy sentence today. He’s got himself involved in serious criminality. He has been extremely stupid. He knows he’s going to get a long sentence today. He wants to serve that sentence and make the best use of it and get on with the rest of his life.”
Ms Pierpoint pointed to four friends of Kabeya who were in the public gallery who were ‘shocked by his behaviour’. They described him as a family man who was close to his brother, the barrister told the court.
Judge Conrad QC said: “He’s got business acumen. If only he applied it in the right direction.”
The judge continued: “The most serious offence here is the possession of firearms. There were two of them and there was ammunition found with them. The Court of Appeal has repeatedly emphasized that the courts must always have regard to the extreme gravity of such matters and you will be aware of that.”
He told the defendant he was subject to a ‘mandatory minimum sentence’ of five years for the firearms offences before the drugs offences were considered.
Kabeya, wearing a grey designer tracksuit, showed no reaction when he was handed an eight-year prison sentence. He had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a firearm, one of possession of cocaine with intent to supply and one count of possessing criminal property. He was given six years for the gun offences and a further two for the drugs matters.
A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is scheduled to take place on September 9.
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