TWO men, who were caught by Gwent Police officers working on a covert drugs operation in Newport, have been sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court.

Parvis Ishaq, aged 28, of no fixed abode, had previously pleaded to one count of possession of a class A drug – heroin – and has been jailed for more than three years. Salman Ali, aged 21, of Capel Crescent, Newport, previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to supply a drug of class B – cannabis – and received a suspended sentence.

The pair, who appeared before court yesterday in separate cases, were both identified by officers working on Operation Wheel – an investigation relating to the Potter Street area of the city.

Prosecuting, Matthew Cobbe told the court that both Ishaq and Ali were “acting outside the conspiracy” in relation to the police investigation.

Regarding Ishaq, the prosecutor said that the 28-year-old was identified as a person of interest in relation to Operation Wheel.

“He came to the officers’ attention during the currency of the investigation,” said Mr Cobbe, “They wanted to speak to him believing he was involved, but it is accepted he wasn’t.”

The prosecutor said Ishaq was chased by officers into an address on Capel Crescent on October 24, 2017, where it was discovered that he had the equivalent street value of £3,800 worth of heroin about his person.

The officers found a wrap of heroin in his pocket, weighing 3.24g, and a second, larger wrap – weighing 31.7g – near to his buttocks, the court heard.

“In interview, he said the drugs were for his personal use,” said Mr Cobbe, adding that the quantities were designed to be split into smaller amounts known as a borla.

Mr Cobbe said that Ishaq had a previous conviction for dealing crack cocaine from 2006, and the heroin dealing offence had been committed during the “currency of a community order”.

“His position is aggravated by supplying crack cocaine and his failure to comply with a previous order,” he said.

A proceeds of crime act (POCA) hearing in relation to Ishaq was scheduled during the hearing.

Defending Ishaq, Harry Baker told the court that his defendant pleaded guilty to the matter at the earliest opportunity. Ishaq was sentenced to a term of 40 months in prison for the possession of heroin.

In a separate case, Salman Ali was sentenced to 16 months, suspended for 18 months, for the possession with intent to supply cannabis. In relation to Ali, Mr Cobbe said the 21-year-old was “acting independently” by dealing cannabis in Potter Street.

“He was taking part in street dealing,” said Mr Cobbe, “He was caught on May 6 of last year. There are photographs of him dealing.”

During interview, Ali claimed that he was dealing cannabis to fund his addiction to heroin, the court heard. Defending Ali, Stephen Donoghue said his defendant was deemed a low risk of reoffending.

“He’s learnt a bitter lesson of being involved for the first time in a drug offence,” said Mr Donoghue.

“He’s done well as the report suggested on the order.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins said he did not accept the claim that the 21-year-old was selling cannabis to feed his own drug habit.

“You said you were doing that as you were addicted to heroin,” said Judge Jenkins.

“I do not accept that. I think you invented that as a convenient excuse to explain why you were selling cannabis.”

Ali received a term of 16 months, suspended for 18 months, for the possession with intent to supply cannabis. Judge Jenkins also handed Ali an order for 180 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation requirement of eight days and a curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

He revoked the previous uncompleted order, which still had 35 hours remaining on it.

Both men will be subject to a statutory surcharge.