An amphetamine dealer who had a £1,500 “relatively pure” haul stashed away in a garage in Barrowford had a “police-style” asp baton in his car in case of trouble, a court heard.
Addict Wayne 0’Gara also had naphyrone and “bubble” to the tune of almost £600, as well as scales, snap seal bags and £180 cash. The defendant, who had cautions for drugs, worked as a commercial vehicle painter, but claimed he found his wages went on his expenses, his partner and child and so he turned to street selling in the Barrowford area to fund his own habit, Burnley Crown Court heard.
O’Gara (26), of Kingsley Street, Nelson, had admitted possessing 74 grams of amphetamine with intent to supply, possessing naphyrone and mephedrone and possessing an offensive weapon. He was jailed for a year.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell told the defendant: “It seems to me this was commercial drug dealing to make a profit. It was nowhere near the highest level, but it’s above the level where you are just dealing to friends and close associates.” O’Gara will face a proceeds of crime hearing on August 5th.
Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said police saw O’Gara in a vehicle just before midnight. He was with his girlfriend and was driving away from an address in Green Road, Colne. Officers had some information about drugs and decided to pull him over.
O’Gara appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs, but a breath test proved negative. Officers noticed a police-style asp baton in the driver’s door pocket. In the centre console was a small bag of amphetamine and two further small bags were also discovered.
Miss Statham said both the defendant and his girlfriend were arrested and two addresses associated with the defendant were searched. One was Kingsley Street, Nelson, and at another address in Barrowford, they found 74 grams of amphetamine, of 21 per cent purity. in a microwave in the garage. It was worth £1,480 on the streets. Police also discovered 14.22 grams of caffeine, a cutting agent.
Mephedrone, which became illegal in April was found, as well as naphyrone which became a Class B drug just a few days before his arrest. The drugs together weighed 29.8 grams and were worth between £435 and £580.
Miss Statham said O’Gara was questioned, but claimed the drugs were for personal use and denied any supply.
Mr Martin Hackett, for the defendant, said he did not have a long record and had never been to prison. He was involved in relatively low level drug dealing.
He could not blame anyone but himself for being in court or for the fact that if he lost his liberty he would lose his job and his contact with his partner and child for some time. The barrister added: “The thought of being sent to prison scares him, as it should.”
Mr Hackett said O’Gara had been taking amphetamine and the other drugs and had supplied amphetamine. The barrister continued: “He sold it to a number of associates, to people who he knew took the drug from his community in the Barrowford area. He had the implement in his car to protect himself should there be any difficulties whilst he was involved in drug matters.”