Dealer had 53 bags of cannabis down trousers
A MAN was caught by police in Cardiff with a knife in his sock and more than 50 bags of cannabis down his trousers.
Nico Maughan, 21, told officers he was dealing the Class B drug to make enough money to buy food after losing his job in a call centre.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court, defence barrister Karl Williams acknowledged his client was a “heavy user” of cannabis.
The court heard Maughan was stopped by a police officer on Railway Street in Splott on December 1 last year.
Prosecutor John Warren said the officer searched him in connection with a series of thefts from cars, although it turned out there was no evidence he was involved.
The officer found a ziplock bag containing a small amount of cannabis and a Stanley knife in the defendant’s sock, along with £100 cash – all in £5 and £10 notes.
Maughan was taken to Cardiff Bay Police Station, where he was searched more thoroughly, and officers found one carrier bag down his trousers, plus another in his jacket.
Police found a total of 53 bags of cannabis, estimated to be worth about £530.
The defendant admitted he had two ounces of cannabis and said he had been supplying “everywhere” for “a couple of months”.
He told officers he had not eaten for the past two days and was selling the cannabis to make enough money to buy food.
Police seized his phone and Maughan accepted they would find text messages relating to drug supply.
He claimed he carried the knife for his own protection, telling officers: “I thought it was OK as long as the blade wasn’t showing.”
The defendant stated the cash did not relate to drug supply, he “got it off a mate” and was planning to spend it on food.
Maughan, of Anderson Place, Adamsdown, Cardiff, admitted possessing a knife in a public place, possession with intent to supply cannabis and supplying cannabis.
Mr Williams stressed his client had no previous convictions and was “frank” in his police interview.
He told the court Maughan had lost his call centre job and was not able to claim benefits.
Judge Stephen Hopkins QC made an order for the knife and drugs to be destroyed.
Although there was no formal valuation from police, the judge calculated he would have sold “thousands and thousands of pounds” worth of cannabis during the three-month period.
The judge said: “Public interest demands that I send you straight to prison.”
Maughan was jailed for 14 months.