A SUSPECTED dealer arrested after a series of drug-related deaths in Colchester has admitted possession with intent to supply.

Police launched a major investigation after four deaths and a string of non-fatal overdose incidents in May left the city in shock.

Sabrino Hajderaj, 21, was among a number of people arrested and charged during the investigation.

He appeared at Ipswich Crown Court via video link yesterday to face two charges of drug possession with intent to supply.

To the question of how he pleaded to the drugs charges, Hajderaj, of Sunny Bank, Croydon, answered: “Guilty.”

The court heard that Hajderaj has been diagnosed with ADHD, autism and behavioural disorders due to drug use.

Her Honour Judge Emma Peters decided to postpone sentencing pending further reports concerning a prior charge and sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court in October 2023.

Hajderaj is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court again on July 17.

Prior to his appearance in Ipswich, Hajderaj has been released on bail after appearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in May, where he did not enter a plea to the two drug-related charges.

During the hearing in May he indicated a guilty plea to a third charge of possessing a blade in a public place.

The drug-related deaths in Colchester were said at the time to be linked to heroin use.

Essex Police had said the deaths were treated as “unexplained but not suspicious”.

Hajderaj’s charges concerned the Class A drugs heroin and crack cocaine.

Inspector Mark Jones, leader of Essex Police’s Operation Raptor team in the North of Essex, told the Gazette in May that his team had worked quickly to get to the bottom of the deaths.

He said: “But make no mistake, if people think they can act above the law and supply illicit drugs in Essex we will take the most robust action available to us.

“Op Raptor sits within Essex Police’s Serious Violence Unit where we have a range of specialist skills to disrupt and dismantle county lines.”