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A Southampton man who took to drug dealing because of a debt problem has been jailed for four years.
Tony Ward is the first person to be convicted by officers from the Operation Fortress team which was set up to tackle drug-related violence.
He was arrested by detectives carrying out a drugs search of a flat on Atherley Road on Monday, July 30.
The 44-year-old of Warburton Road, was found in possession of 144 wraps of heroin as well as scales and deal lists.
Ward was charged with possession with intent to supply and later pleaded guilty.
He was jailed for four years at Southampton Crown Court on August 17th.
The judge told him he would have faced six years behind bars had he not admitted the offence early on.
DC Mike Hedley from the Operation Fortress team said: "Ward confessed that he took to dealing heroin because he got himself into debt.
"By doing so, he got involved in a crime that has an impact on everyone else in the community where he lived.
"I hope the fact he's now behind bars will serve as a warning to others to get help before it's too late.
"If you're living in fear because of debt or drugs, you can speak to the Operation Fortress team in confidence."
Email email@example.com or call 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. If a crime is in progress, always call 999.
If you're worried about your own drug use, The Bridge open access drug centre can be contacted on 02380 881400.
The Parent Support Link on 02380 39 9764 offers support and advice to people affected by someone else's drug use.