A FATHER-of-three who died after he took heroin and cocaine was linked by police at an inquest into his death with ‘County Lines’ drug dealing.

Kangi Mantala, 32, was found in cardiac arrest in a home in Verity Square, Andover, on September 26 last year.

A paramedic attempted to resuscitate Mr Mantala, of Barking, Essex, with the help of two others at the home, but he was pronounced dead at 10.50pm.

An inquest into his death at Winchester Coroner’s Court on Monday, heard Mr Mantala’s DNA was found on around 30 wraps of drugs discovered in a search of the address, which was known to police for drug dealing.

A text on his phone also read: “You’re a black man selling drugs in a white area, you think they will love you”.

But Detective Constable Jon Swift said: “There is nothing directly to say he was himself involved in the dealing of drugs,” but it is believed that he was transporting the substances.

County Lines is the name given to the practice in which organised gangs from urban centres expand their drug dealing activity to smaller towns and rural areas.

The inquest heard Mr Mantala was a former security guard, but was let go and he “wasn’t in a very good financial state”.

On September 25, Mr Mantala is believed to have travelled from London to Andover and had contact with a known drug user living at the address on the day he died.

Police say they are unable to track his movements following a search of CCTV, until the ambulance service was called at about 10.25pm.

In a statement, paramedic Stuart Robinson said as he tried to revive Mr Mantala, two people at the home were acting “erratic”, adding: “they were climbing over the male to search the kitchen”and after Mr Mantala was pronounced dead one started to search his pockets.

Police were called to the scene, and interviewed four people who were in the house, while it was revealed a pen was used on Mr Mantala which was an antidote to opiates.

The four were arrested by police, with three remaining under investigation for drug-related offences.Detective inspector Rod Kenny said: “The address in particular had come to police attention previously and the occupants had been provided with a warning notice by the Hampshire police force as they were allowing county lines drug networks to operate from that address.”

A post-mortem found needle puncture marks on Mr Mantala’s body, but despite suspicions, there were no signs he was restrained or assaulted as the drugs were administered, and it was concluded that he died of the toxic effects of heroin.

The inquest heard Mr Mantala was believed to not be a frequent user and would have been “more susceptible” to the effects.

Speaking at the inquest a family member said: “For us [he was a] completely different person, we had no idea. I knew the drinking was a bit of an issue but the whole drug issues is a bit of a shock.”

Senior coroner Grahame Short concluded Mr Mantala died a drug-related death.