Two drug dealers jailed - Flamstead

22/03/2016

Two men from Leicester, who were found with quantities of amphetamines, cannabis and cocaine stashed in the boot of their car when police searched the vehicle in the car park of a restaurant beside the M1 at junction 9 in Hertfordshire, have been jailed.

Today, Tuesday, 22 March 2016, Thomas Sharpe and Jon Staley appeared at St Albans Crown Court for sentence.

They had on them that day drugs which had a street value in total of between £105,000 and £185,000.

Judge Marie Catterson was told how police decided to question them after spotting them in a Vauxhall Corsa in the car park of the Harvester restaurant on the A5 London Road at Flamstead near juntion 9. The court heard, when the officers opened the boot they found over 10 kilos of amphetamine, a block of cannabis resin and 940 grams of cocaine.

Having been arrested and taken into custody by Herts police, the court was told that back in Leicester, when local police went to the home of Staley, they discovered he had set up a small cannabis factory in the hallway of his flat with 9 mature plants growing under high intensity bulbs.

Today, Sharpe, aged 27, of Chestnut Road, Glenfield in Leicester, and Staley, aged 29, of Grassington Close, Leicester pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of amphetamine with intent to supply, possessing a quantity of cannabis with intent to supply, and possessing a quantity of cocaine with intent to supply. Staley also stood to be sentenced for cultivating cannabis.

Prosecutor Anthony Hucklesby said the arrests were made on the afternoon of 13 June 2013 at around 5.30pm.

In custody, Sharpe wouldn't answer any questions put to him by officers, but Staley told the police how earlier that day he had picked up his Sharpe from East Midlands Airport after he had returned from a holiday in Ibiza. He claimed that, once in the car, Sharpe told him to drive to addresses in Leicester and Coventry. In Coventry he said Sharpe had met an older man who had placed a cardboard box in the boot of his car. He said he hadn't got out of his vehicle and when he asked Sharpe what it was he was told: "You don't want to know." He said they had driven to Leicester and he had no idea a large amount of drugs was in his boot. He said, as they drove, Sharpe was making phone calls and told him he would: "sort him out."

The court was told, Sharpe was a man of previous good character and Staley had two convictions for different types of offences.

Judge Catterson was told despite the long wait to learn their fate, almost three years, the pair had held down jobs. Staley had his own painting and decorating business and had kicked a cannabis habit that had been the reason he had tried to cultivate his own supply.

Passing sentence, Judge Catterson told the men that because of the seriousness of their crimes she was unable to suspend any prison sentence.

She told Sharpe that he had been a drug user himself at the time which had led him to commit the offences while under pressure from others. As a result she said he had been part of operation to supply drugs. She jailed him for a total of four years, less the 485 days he had spent on a curfew while awaiting sentence.

The Judge told Staley he had played a lesser role as the driver that day and jailed him for three years and nine months.

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