Drug dealer jailed for 5 years - Luton

31/01/2014

A drug dealer, who regularly visited a second hand shop being run by undercover police officers boasted about how much crack cocaine he had been selling.

Kevin McFarlane's admissions were recorded at the time and led to him being jailed for five years today, Friday, 31 January 2014.  They also led to the discovery of some of his drugs being stored at a friend's house and a large quantity of cash, which he kept at the flat of an ex partner.

McFarlane, 39, of Dorrington Close, Luton, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

With him in the dock was 41-year-old Mark Cowle, of Whipperley Ring, Luton, who admitted the same charge and possessing criminal property. He was given an 18 months prison sentence suspended for two years with a twelve month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Beverley Cripps prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Bedfordshire police had set up the shop 'This N That' in High Town Road, Luton in June 2012 to tackle acquisitive crime in the area.  It was open until February last year.

McFarlane visited the shop many times and would chat freely to the officers. He said he bought crack cocaine in large quantities from a supplier in London, and sold it in Luton to other dealers. He did not sell it in street deals.

"After his arrest he stated that the comments were idle boasts," said Miss Cripps, who added that while he may have exaggerated the extent of his dealing, there was evidence of him being a supplier. He sold drugs to one of the officers on two occasions.

She said he stored his drugs at a 'safe house' where Cowle lived. A quantity of crack cocaine, his mobile phone and £1,780 cash was found there.  At another property in Delphine Close, Luton more than £21,000 in cash was found. McFarlane admitted that £18,000 of it was his.

Paul Addison, defending McFarlane said: "He had fallen on hard times after losing his job and drifted into this activity. He is sorry and ashamed."

Stephen Halloran for Cowle said: "He felt obligated to McFarlane, because he owed money to him. He was vulnerable and allowed his premises to be used.  He is now taking steps to deal with his addiction."

Judge Stuart Bridge told McFarlane: "It is clear to me you were a dealer for at least six months and you were also preying on vulnerable people and using them to store drugs and your proceeds from drug dealing."

He told Cowle: "You were being exploited by McFarlane and you were a vulnerable person with a drug addiction, but you are taking active steps to deal with that."

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