19-Year-Old Former Arsenal Player, Christian Toonga, Sentenced To Two-and-a-half years In Jail For Dealing In Heroin And Cocaine

19-year-old Former Arsenal youth player Christian Toonga has been given a jail sentence of two-and-a-half years after he was found in possession of Class A drugs.

The midfielder who played a ‘significant’ role selling heroin and cocaine for a gang of dealers was part of so called “cuckooing” operation, where gangs set up shop in the homes of vulnerable individuals.

He claimed he was pressured into working for the Custom House gang when he was arrested at a property in Sherborne, Wiltshire, last year. 

According to Toonga, he was approached while playing for League One side AFC Wimbledon and felt he had no choice to because he felt “threatened”, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

What he did was to move gang members into the home of a woman who felt powerless to resist them. Police raided the property in School View Close, Sherborne on 1 June 2016 where they arrested Toonga, the court heard.

Toonga was caught with three wraps of cocaine, 29 wraps of heroin, £700 and mobile phones with text messages ‘demonstrating his considerable involvement.’

One message sent by Toonga read: ‘I will do the bagging up.’

Prosecutor Tom Edwards said Toonga was fully aware of the details of the operation, adding: “Clearly this is a case of cuckooing where a house is occupied.

“Certainly, he had a managing function within the chain, motivated by his financial gain.”

Toonga admitted to possessing with intent to supply class A drugs on 7 February, and he was also charged with failing to surrender to police after he was bailed.
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