A CRACK cocaine and heroin street dealer caught red-handed by undercover police officers has been sent into youth custody for more than two years.

Ahmed Moshen, 20, was snared by a surveillance team in the Pill area of Newport, prosecutor Gareth James told Cardiff Crown Court.

He said officers in an unmarked car had followed an uninsured silver Toyota Corolla, which had also not been taxed, with four people inside.

Mr James told the court: “It stopped at a couple of addresses and visited the house of where a known drug dealer lived.”

He said the car then stopped in Courtybella Terrace and the defendant was seen in a shop doorway handing over a bag in exchange for a bank note to one of the passengers.

The judge, Recorder Paul Hopkins QC, heard how Moshen was arrested by one of the officers and “street dealer” amounts of crack cocaine and heroin were found on a bag he dropped.

Mr James said the Toyota sped away from the scene.

Moshen, of Caerau Road, Newport, admitted possessing crack cocaine and heroin, controlled drugs of class A, with intent to supply.

The offences took place on October 14.

Mr James said the defendant had seven previous convictions for 11 offences, including burglary, shoplifting, possessing cocaine and criminal damage.

Harry Baker, mitigating, said the defendant had suffered personal tragedy in his life.

He told the judge how his client had “lost close personal family members”.

The court heard how Moshen had been held in custody at Cardiff Prison since his arrest last month.

Mr Baker added the defendant had admitted the “utter stupidity” of what he had done.

He said: “It is a very expensive mistake he has made and he recognises that.”

Recorder Hopkins told Moshen: “You were in the doorway of a shop being watched under surveillance when officers saw a drugs transaction take place.”

He said the offences were so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified.

Moshen was sent to a young offender institution for two years and four months and was told he must serve at least half that sentence before being released on licence.

The defendant must also pay a victim surcharge of £140.

Outside the court, Police Constable Andrew Owens said: "Ahmed Moshen attempted to flee from plain clothes police officers and tried to discard drugs.

"This sentence shows Gwent Police’s commitment to tackling any group or individual involved in the supply of drugs."