THREE heroin dealers have been sent to prison after an undercover police operation infiltrated a drugs ring.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, praised the investigation in which two officers pretended to be heroin addicts living in Hayle.
As a result of Operation Calf, Hayle men David Johns, 44, of Golden Sands Caravans, Guildford Road, Stephen Jose, 39, of The Pathway Fields, and Terrence Foyle, 36, of Rescorla Court, were each given prison sentences at Truro Crown Court on Friday.
Sergeant Mike Friday told the West Briton: "As neighbourhood team leader in Hayle I am pleased that the courts have taken such a positive action in sentencing these offenders.
"Heroin use ruins lives and communities and we will continue to proactively tackle the use and supply of it."
After becoming concerned about an increase in drug-related crime last year, months of planning resulted in two undercover officers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, infiltrating the drugs scene, gathering information which led to dawn raids of several Hayle properties in March.
Nine arrests were made and a quantity of heroin seized.
The court heard the trio were not making money from the deals and thought they were helping a fellow drug user.
Robin Smith, defending Jose, said: "He too was a man who acted not for commercial or financial gain or purpose but whose need for heroin was spiralling out of control and he was becoming even more in debt.
"He did genuinely believe he was supplying to an existing heroin addict."
Each defence barrister argued that his client was on the bottom rung of the ladder and told the court the men hoped to kick their habits and would not return to Hayle.
Mr Harvey Clark told the men: "You were fooled into believing that the undercover officers were simply heroin addicts and the court congratulates the police in the effectiveness of this operation.
"I hope you make the most of the opportunities you will receive and when you are released from prison on licence that you do your level best to stay away from drugs."
Each man pleaded guilty to the charges at the first opportunity.
Johns received four individual three-year prison sentences for four counts of the supply of a controlled Class A drug, heroin, one year for supply of a controlled Class C drug, three years for being concerned in supplying heroin, and three years for the possession of a controlled Class A drug, diamorphine, heroin.
Jose received seven individual three-year prison sentences for seven counts of supplying heroin.
Foyle received three 40-month prison sentences for three counts of supplying heroin.
All sentences are to be served concurrently and each was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.
The allegations relate to dates between December 10 and February 5.