A CONVICTED drug dealer who was a member of a crime syndicate responsible for a huge heroin operation in Malton and York has been arrested after being on the run since October 2018.

Alfred Philip Dear (snr), 46, described as York's most wanted criminal, was arrested in Swaffham by Norfolk Constabulary on Saturday, February 22, and is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court this afternoon (Monday).

Alfred Phillip Dear, previously of York and Hull, was the head of an organised crime gang who pedalled heroin and cocaine in York. He was found guilty in his absence of conspiracy to supply class A drugs on 26 October 2018.

After failing to turn up at court for sentencing in December 2018, he was sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment which also included three years for a raid on a cash machine in East Yorkshire. An investigation was launched to locate him including several public appeals for information about his whereabouts.

In December last year it was reported that 11 members of a crime syndicate responsible for a huge heroin operation in York and Malton were jailed for a total of 102 years and six months.

The family-run enterprise was headed by convicted heroin dealer Alfred Philip Dear, and he and his three sons had a turnover of tens of thousands of pounds a month, Leeds Crown Court heard at the time.

Alfred Dear went on the run from a 21-year sentence with a reward offered for his capture, and two of his sons Alfred Dear, 26, and Levi Dear, 24, after currently serving 12-year sentences alongside eight other jailed gang members. The third son involved in the gang, Callum Dear, died before he could be charged.