TWO men caught with 30 bags of cocaine in a supermarket car park have been jailed.
Emilov Andonov and Stanislav Stefanov, who both gave their age as 21, told police they had arrived in the UK from Bulgaria just days before they were arrested, York Crown Court heard.
They were caught as part of North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Expedite, that targets county lines drugs teams.
Both men, of no fixed address in this country, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply. Each was jailed for two years and three months.
Police officers were on patrol in Harrogate at lunchtime on January 28 this year when they saw a Toyota Avensis behaving in a suspicious way.
The car pulled into a supermarket car park in the town and parked next to an Audi A4. A man got out of the Toyota and into the Audi.
Suspecting a drug deal was in progress, the officers went up to the car and arrested the two men.
They also searched the two cars and found a total of 30 bags of cocaine under the gearstick covers of both vehicles.
Both men claimed they had come to the UK looking for work. PC Chris Thompson of Operation Expedite said; “This is a prime example of two individuals involved in county lines crime groups, thinking they can commit drugs crime in North Yorkshire.
"Both men willingly entered into criminality for their own personal gain, not giving any concern to the risk presented to residents of North Yorkshire or the damaging impact drugs has on our local communities.
“North Yorkshire Police is committed to tackling drug related crime, and having a dedicated Operation Expedite county lines team allows us to target those who pedal these illegal substances in a proactive and relentless manner.
"The fight against class A drug supply at all levels will continue and anyone involved can expect to be dealt with robustly by police.”
County lines gangs are based in large urban areas and move drugs into more rural areas where they are sold to drug users. Cocaine is a Class A drug, the most serious category of prohibited drugs.