A professional footballer who played a ‘significant’ role selling heroin and cocaine for a gang of dealers has been jailed for two-and-a-half years. Former Arsenal youth player Christian Toonga, 19, claimed he was pressured into working for the Custom House gang when he was arrested at a property in Sherborne, Wiltshire, last year…
He was part of so called ‘cuckooing’ operation where gangs set up shop in the homes of vulnerable individuals.
The midfielder said he was approached while playing for League One team AFC Wimbledon and felt he had no choice to because he felt ‘threatened’, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
He helped 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.
He was caught with three wraps of cocaine, 29 wraps of heroin, £700 and mobile phones with text messages ‘demonstrating his considerable involvement.’
Toonga, who sat in the dock wearing a dark green Nike tracksuit flanked by two dock officers, sat expressionless as the sentence was passed.
He was supported by his mother and brother in the public gallery.