POLICE are appealing for help to trace a drug dealer who is on the run.

James Madine, formerly of Prudhoe and now listed as living at Tyne Gardens in Ryton, went on the run after being convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

Madine (43) was found guilty of the charge at Newcastle Crown Court and was due to be sentenced on November 13 last year, but he failed to appear at court. In his absence he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Inquiries to trace him and put him behind bars have been ongoing since he disappeared and now police are appealing for help from the public as part of the ongoing Operation Sentinel activity.

Operation Sentinel saw Northumbria Police join forces with both Durham and Cleveland to tackle serious and organised crime.

Tynedale neighbourhood inspector Pam Bridges, one of the investigating officers, said: “As part of Operation Sentinel we are focusing on the pursuit of criminals and sentences like the one handed to James Madine show just how committed we are to tackling drug supply in our area.

“We rely on the public’s help to tackle drug crime by reporting any information to us so officers can investigate and continue to bring offenders to justice.”

Madine is described as white, around 5ft 11ins tall, stocky build and with short dark hair.

Anyone who sees Madine, or has information about his whereabouts, is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 0181115 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.