A DRUG addict introduced an undercover police officer to dealers and runners.

Robert Chapman got talking to the covert detective nicknamed Baz who was working in Clacton as part of an initiative called Operation Cheta.

The officers initially got talking to Chapman in the Alexandra Road area of the town in October.

They swapped numbers, and Chapman called the detective asking for him to go to a deal where three wraps of drugs were available for £20.

Just over a week later, the pair met up again in Pier Avenue where another drug deal was arranged.

Two more happened in the first few days of November.

On each occasion small wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, nicknamed white and brown, were purchased by Chapman – who was codenamed Celtic during the police operation.

Chapman, of Lyon Close, Clacton, admitted six counts of possession of class A drugs when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Gemma Lee, mitigating, said Chapman, 42, had battled with drug issues for a long time.

“He has been involved with recreational drugs since a young age, since the 1990s when it was fashionable to go out and take them,” she said.

“The impact of that on himself, and on his family, have been considerable.

“If there were ever people to go into schools and educate people the real dangers of taking drugs then this family would be them.

“I would submit the defendant is vulnerable.

“He is not himself selling to the test purchase officer.

“He was speaking to him and helping him buy in bulk together – he is not making any profit from that dealing.

“The defendant and his family are doing everything they can to rehabilitate him.”

Magistrates handed him a £180 fine, a £32 victim surcharge and costs of £85.

Operation Cheta culminated in 100 officers doing synchronised warrants in Clacton, Colchester, Braintree and London last month.

Specialist teams forced entry into properties and seized a large amount of cash, Class A drugs and a stun gun.

In total 14 people arrested.

Police had been working on Operation Cheta for seven months and believe they have already taken out one drug gang.

They hoped the raids would result in another two out-of-town drug supply operations to be demolished.