A DRUG dealer is today behind bars for four years because firearms officers stopped him for substandard driving in North Yorkshire.

Aaron Thompson, 32, had hidden large amounts of cocaine and heroin down the front of his trousers, Cathrine Kioko-Gilligan, prosecuting, told York Crown Court.

Police pulled him over because he was driving a SEAT car erratically on the A170 near Pickering.

His solicitor advocate Nicholas Hammond said he had agreed to carry the drugs because he was in financial difficulties after a motorcycle accident.

Thompson, of Holt Close, Adel, Leeds, pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and cocaine, both with intent to supply.

He has previously served prison sentences for supplying heroin and conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Jailing him for four years, Judge Tim Clayson told Thompson: “You know as well as anyone, with your previous convictions, any behaviour of this sort is bound to result in a lengthy prison sentence.”

DC Darrel Temple, of Scarborough and Ryedale CID, led the investigation into Thompson as part of his role in the Operation Expedite County Lines Team against drug dealers who are based outside North Yorkshire and operate in the county.

He said: “It is very pleasing that Aaron Thompson has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after admitting his guilt to dealing Class A drugs which wreak lives and damage communities.

“Thanks to the great work by the arresting officers in securing key evidence and the subsequent investigation, Thompson was presented with no realistic opportunity of escaping justice.

“We simply will not tolerate drug dealers like Aaron Thompson, and we vow to act on any information from the local community about such activity. Please don’t hesitate to make a report.”

He revealed that police are also investigating whether Thompson was cannabis driving and that firearms support unit officers had been the ones who stopped Thompson at 4.46pm on December 8.

Ms Kioko-Gilligan said police found one package containing 184g of cocaine and three packages of heroin weighing together 84g when they searched Thompson.

Mr Hammond said Thompson had gone straight after being released from jail in October 2020.

He had got a job constructing internal walls and was taking NVQ courses to get qualifications to help him get promotion.

“He was earning a good salary and things were going very well,” said Mr Hammond.

But in October he was involved in a motorbike crash that injured him so badly he still walks with a crutch.

He had lost his job because he had been in hospital and couldn’t work.

So he had taken the "absolutely stupid" decision to earn £500 by carrying the drugs.

He hoped to find another legitimate job when he is next released from prison.