A fugitive drug dealer was able to work under his own name for 19 months while he was being hunted by the police.

Marvin Walker jumped bail a week before he was due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court in November 2021 and was found guilty in his absence. A judge issued a warrant but he was not arrested until June this year.

He worked through an agency for Amazon and the delivery firm DX for much of the time, during which he was living at his mother’s address in Wolverhampton.

Walker was working off a debt to a Midlands drug gang and was using a hotel room next to Exeter’s main railway station as a base to sell heroin and crack in a nearby alleyway when he was first arrested in 2018.

Plain clothes police arrested him after watching him meeting a group of known drug users and found £6,000 worth of unsold drugs in his room.

He claimed they were nothing to do with him but forensic tests showed that his DNA was on the packaging.

Walker, aged 36, of Cedar Grove, Wolverhampton, denied possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and possession of criminal property but was found guilty back in 2021.

He has now been jailed for three years and six months for the drugs offences with an extra month for failing to answer bail by Recorder Mr Mathew Turner at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: 'You were going out dealing in the street from the hotel where you had your stash. You were expecting significant financial advantage.

'At the time you were a user of the drugs you supplied. Since this offending, I am told you have been working hard.'

During the trial, Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said police arrested Walker outside Exeter St David’s Station on June 25, 2018, and searched his room at the Great Western Hotel.

They found his girlfriend there smoking cannabis and recovered plastic bags containing drugs from the top of the wardrobe. Some had been measured out into deals and wrapped in cigarette papers ready for sale.

Walker had a phone which had messages offering to sell drugs on behalf of a County Lines gang. They offered three deals for £20, a discount on the normal rate of £10 a bag. The total value of the class A drugs seized was £6,000 and the cash totaled £289.10.

Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Walker was addicted to heroin and crack at the time and was working for a County Lines gang to pay off a large drug debt.

He failed to appear for his trial because he had recently suffered a bereavement and wanted to remain at home to support his mother. He has since got off drugs and has been working most of the time.

Mr Parkhill said: 'He has not been on the run. He has been living with his mother at an address known to all and has been doing agency work for Amazon and DX. He has stable accommodation and employment.'