TWO men have been jailed for running a drug dealing operation from a hotel room.

Iztvan Stuurman, 28, and Joel Johnson, 27, will both spend three years behind bars after being convicted at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, July 3.

Stuurman, of Arisdale Close, South Ockendon, received three year concurrent sentences for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

He received three months concurrent for possession of cannabis and counts of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin will remain on file.

Johnson, of no fixed address, received three year concurrent sentences for possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin and for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

He received 12 months concurrent for acquiring criminal property.

Johnson was first arrested by police back on May 4 after officers found a large amount of crack cocaine and heroin in a vehicle in South Ockendon Minutes before his arrest, Johnson had sent a number of messages associated with drug dealing activities.

Southend Standard: Joel JohnsonJoel Johnson

He was also in possession of a hotel key fob and detectives found a room in the name of Agne Vaituleviciute.

A member of staff recognised Johnson as being with her and police searched their hotel room to find more cocaine and heroin.

The room was set up in order to stash, cut and package class A drugs.

Both Johnson and Vaituleviciute were arrested and taken into custody for questioning.

After reviewing the hotel CCTV, detectives noticed that Stuurman, the partner of Vaituleviciute, had been in the room and his DNA was found inside.

He was arrested on July 8 by officers in South Ockendon and they seized his phone containing evidence of his activities.

Southend Standard: Iztvan StuurmanIztvan Stuurman

Speaking after Johnson and Stuurman were jailed, insp Scott Fitzmaurice, of Essex Police's Operation Raptor West team, said: “Following some quick actions we were able to arrest Johnson moments after he sent dozens of messages concerning drug supply.

“We quickly identified the hotel and hotel room he was staying at before discovering evidence of the preparation and packaging of drugs.

“Stuurman believed he had escaped but he thought wrong and following some investigative work and determination, he was arrested and put before a court.

“Both men now have plenty of time to think about their actions in prison.”

Vaituleviciute, 21, of Nicholas Close, South Ockendon, received 18 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, for being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin.

She was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on June 2 and also received a suspended sentence for possession of cannabis and will have to complete unpaid work.