Ex TOWIE star jailed for conspiring to supply 1kg of cocaine
- Credit: Met Police
A former reality TV star from Brentwood has been jailed after conspiring to supply a kilogram's worth of cocaine.
Mike Hassini, 27, who became a personal trainer after being dropped from the ITV show The Only Way is Essex in 2018, was seen by police handing a brown cardboard box containing the high-purity Class A drugs to Gary Bear, 23, on April 16.
The cocaine was found in Bear’s grey Mercedes and £36,495 in cash was discovered in a blue plastic bag in the black Smart car being driven by Hassini, when they were stopped in Hornchurch.
A raid on the home of the parents of Hassini’s girlfriend uncovered another 300g of cocaine, a press and moulds and £1,670 in cash, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Hassini pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal cash.
Bear, of Hornchurch, admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine and possessing criminal property after more than £12,000 in cash was found in his family home.
Judge Richard Inyundo jailed Hassini for six years and nine months and sentenced Bear to five years and three months imprisonment.
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He told them: “You are not the only two young men to find yourselves in difficulty due to the Covid pandemic.
“But many people in far more difficult positions than you did not make the decision to go into criminality and certainly did not make the decision to go into very serious criminality, which frankly both of you made the decision to do with your eyes wide open.”
The judge told Hassini he had played “an important role” in the “organisation which made the arrangements for the supply of large amounts” of drugs.
He said Hassini had put his girlfriend and her family “under suspicion of serious criminal offending”, which had led to her arrest before she was released with no further action taken.
Baz Bhatia QC said Hassini recognised the “hurt and shame” he has brought on his family, including his girlfriend, mother and sister, who were in the public gallery.
“He will be remembered as someone who fell from grace at a very high level and will always be remembered as a drug dealer,” Mr Bhatia added.
Michael Lavers said his client Bear had begun taking cocaine recreationally in Ibiza, adding: “He saw others apparently flourishing and he accepts he was tempted by that lifestyle.”
Reporting by Press Association.