DEALERS caught selling hard drugs on the streets of Clacton helped an illicit operation make more than £8,000 in profit.

Jason Waldock, 52, and Stephen Hodder, 42, were caught running crack cocaine and heroin from an address in Carnarvon Road in July 2020.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Hodder was spotted meeting known drug users and frequenting the property at regular intervals.

He was arrested and police raided the home, finding Waldock – who was not the homeowner – inside.

Waldock was found to be carrying wraps of Class A drugs and a bank slip detailing a transfer of more than £400 to co-accused Menelik Edwards.

Edwards, 37, of Manor Park, London, was jailed for seven years at Ipswich Crown Court in November last year.

Gazette: Menelik EdwardsMenelik Edwards

He was convicted of two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

The police investigation showed Edwards had received 24 cash payments totalling £8,342 into his bank account.

In police interview, Waldock, of Colne Road, Clacton, said the cash he had paid to Edwards was “for the sale of cars” and he denied being a drug dealer.

The court heard messages were found on a mobile phone “clearly linking” Hodder to the sale of heroin and cocaine.

Hodder, of Beach Road, Clacton, told police he was a crack cocaine and heroin addict who spent “every penny” of his benefits money on drugs, relying on foodbanks to feed himself.

Both defendants later admitted two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

'I can work for others'

Hodder, who has 20 convictions for 40 offences, also admitted two further counts of Class A drugs supply, after he ran drugs on the streets of Clacton for a second group in 2019.

The court heard he sent a text message to the operators of one drug line, boasting of his work for other dealers.

It read: “I can work for others if I want, I got offers.”

Judge Mary Loram QC deferred sentencing Hodder for six months to give him the chance to get his life back on track.

The court heard he has been taking drugs since the age of 13.

Judge Loram said: “For a very long time your life has been blighted by drug taking. I hope you can see now how it could be, because you look well and I bet you didn’t look like that a year ago.”

He must comply with the probation service and refrain from further offending.

The court was told Waldock, who has four convictions for eight offences, has been clean from drugs since his arrest in 2020.

He is seeking help from charity Open Road.

Judge Loram sentenced him to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a condition to carry out a rehabilitation activity requirement.