NO HIDING PLACE FOR DRUG DEAL­ERS

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

THREE drug deal­ers who ped­dled co­caine in the Gwynedd area have each been jailed for two years.

Michael Stan­ley, 28, Ben­jamin In­gram, 22, and Nathan Porter, 24, ap­peared at Mold Crown Court yes­ter­day.

A fourth man, Kenny Blake, 20 – who was already serv­ing a three­year youth custody sen­tence im­posed last year for sim­i­lar of­fences – was given four months to serve con­sec­u­tively.

Judge Ni­clas Parry said ev­i­dence against the gang came from mo­bile phone data, with In­gram’s con­tain­ing ref­er­ences to the high pu­rity of the drug on his phone.

The judge de­scribed Porter, who had been in the Army, as a sub­stan­tial dealer, slightly higher up the chain, who sold drugs on credit.

Stan­ley was deal­ing to pay off a con­sid­er­able drugs debt and had a very poor record.

Blake was already serv­ing a three-year sen­tence for drugs of­fences and the judge said he had to con­sider how much more he would have re­ceived if all mat­ters had been dealt with to­gether.

James Coutts, prose­cut­ing, said that, in July last year, po­lice searched an ad­dress at Glan Gors, Har­lech, the home ad­dress of In­gram, and it was clear that it was be­ing used by a num­ber of peo­ple.

There was a strong smell of cannabis and In­gram, who an­swered the door, was arrested when he be­came ob­struc­tive.

Blake, Porter and Stan­ley were in the liv­ing room and Jones was asleep in bed.

A rel­a­tively small amount of drugs were seized, to­gether with £200 in cash, but the pros­e­cu­tion ev­i­dence came from their mo­bile phones, which were in­dica­tive of drug deal­ing, with drugs be­ing ad­ver­tised for sale, said Mr Coutts.

In­gram ini­tially claimed he al­lowed oth­ers to use his phone, but dropped the claim when it was sug­gested the hear­ing be ad­journed for ev­i­dence to be called on the issue.

His bar­ris­ter, Sion ap Mi­hangel, said his client had set his heart on join­ing the Army, but an as­sess­ment showed that he would not be ac­cepted be­cause of his epilepsy, which had af­fected him all his life.

He turned to cannabis to al­le­vi­ate his symp­toms and help him sleep and, at one stage, was us­ing one or two grams a night. The de­fen­dant ef­fec­tively be­came ad­dicted and turned to deal­ing to fund it.

Michael Whitty, de­fend­ing Blake, said his client was in custody, was en­gaged to be mar­ried, was de­ter­mined to change his ways and was un­der­go­ing cour­ses to help him gain em­ploy­ment on his re­lease.

An­drew Green, rep­re­sent­ing Porter, said he had no con­vic­tions and the im­pact of a prison sen­tence on him would be lifechang­ing.

He was a hard­work­ing man with two jobs who had, in his younger days, dealt with se­ri­ous life events.

Michael Whitty, for Stan­ley, said his client had made dra­matic changes in his life since the of­fend­ing.

He had wit­nessed a mur­der at the age of 11, con­tin­u­ously moved ad­dress as a child and had led an un­sta­ble, no­madic life­style with few adult role mod­els.

Stan­ley had said that it was only when he had lost ev­ery­thing that he re­alised how far he had fallen and he was now do­ing all that he could to em­brace fam­ily life.

Stan­ley, of Glan Gors, Har­lech, ad­mit­ted be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of co­caine.

In­gram, also of Glan Gors, ad­mit­ted be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of co­caine and cannabis as did Porter, of Maes Gwndwr, Tal­sar­nau.

Blake, of Glan Gors, ad­mit­ted be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of cannabis only.

A fifth man, Shaun Jones, 23, of High Street, in Tal­sar­nau, who had never been in any trou­ble be­fore, ad­mit­ted be­ing con­cerned in the sup­ply of cannabis only.

He re­ceived a four-month prison sen­tence, sus­pended for one year.

Dun­can Bould, for Jones, said he would not mit­i­gate when the judge said that he would im­pose a sus­pended sen­tence.

Speak­ing af­ter the case, Chief In­spec­tor Richie Green said he wel­comed the sen­tences and hoped they would de­ter oth­ers from sup­ply­ing con­trolled drugs.

He said: “Drug-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties have a detri­men­tal im­pact in our com­mu­ni­ties and south Gwynedd will ben­e­fit con­sid­er­ably as a re­sult of to­day’s jail­ings.

“Our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties will not tol­er­ate such be­hav­iour, and I am grate­ful for the in­for­ma­tion we re­ceived to en­able us to take pos­i­tive ac­tion. “There is no hiding place. “In line with the force’s Op­er­a­tion Scor­pion, we are fully com­mit­ted to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of se­ri­ous and or­gan­ised crime and erad­i­cat­ing it from our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Jailed (from left) Michael Stan­ley, Ben­jamin In­gram and Nathan Porter and (be­low) Kenny Blake who was given four months

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