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Drug dealer caught after five years on the run abroad

FUGITIVE ARRESTED: Eriberto Jimenez-Melo

A DRUG dealer from north London who was on the run for nearly five years has been arrested in Italy.

Dominican-born Eriberto Jimenez-Melo, 35, who previously resided in Stamford Hill, north London, was due to stand trial in 2008 for conspiring to supply cocaine following an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Jimenez-Melo was responsible for managing female couriers who trafficked drugs, including cocaine, to London.

The substances were then cut with phenacetin before being distribute.

Jimenez-Melo jumped bail and in his absence was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison at Ipswich Crown Court.

After a European Arrest Warrant was issued, he was arrested by Italian police in Parma and was extradited to the UK.

On July 25, at Ipswich Crown Court, he was given an additional sentence of one year to be served concurrently for failing to answer his bail.

Dave Allen, head of the Fugitives Unit at SOCA, said: “Jimenez-Melo evaded capture for a long time and moved around Europe using an assumed identity. This case shows how international borders will not stop SOCA from hunting down and catching fugitive criminals.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will find you and we will bring you back to the UK to face justice.”

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