A DEALER who was caught with thousands of pounds worth of drugs has avoided jail.
Liam Rice, 22, was voluntarily interviewed under caution following a warrant at a property on Bourne Lane, Totton last summer.
Police had received information concerning drug-related activity at the property.
They seized Class B drugs worth £32,500 – along with other drug-related paraphernalia.
Rice, of Bourne Lane, Woodlands, was charged and later convicted of being concerned in the supply of cannabis at Southampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday, May 10.
He was jailed for six months suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
Rice must also complete 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days and was made to pay £85 courts costs and a victim surcharge of £128.
PC Carl Peverill of the New Forest Heart Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We hope that this sends out a strong message to the local community that we will not tolerate drug-dealing, or any associated criminality, within the New Forest, and that we will always seek to identify those responsible and put them in front of the courts to face justice.
“This was an extremely large amount of Class B drugs, with a high street value, which has now been seized, destroyed and taken off the streets.
“We are fully committed to ensuring that our communities do not come to harm through drug-related harm or violence, but we can only do that when we receive information from the public about any suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods.
"This enables us to build up a bigger picture about any ongoing activity and for us to then take robust action against those involved in such criminality – as has been the case in this situation.
“We would implore you, as our ears and eyes on the ground, to continue to report anything suspicious to us by visiting the Hampshire Constabulary website, or by calling 101.
"If it is an emergency, or there is an immediate threat to life, dial 999.”
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