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Crook man jailed for importing and selling now banned stimulant
A BID to expand a “business” dealing in the now banned synthetic stimulant MCAT was “nipped in the bud” by police and customs officers.
The UK Border Force intercepted a suspicious package at East Midlands Airport, sent from Shanghai in China, addressed to David Declan Hanley, in Crook, County Durham, on October 26 last year.
Durham Crown Court heard the package contained almost a kilogram of MCAT, formerly a legal high, also known as mephedrone, until it was proscribed in 2010.
Chris Baker, prosecuting, said it was worth £2,500, but could yield £9,698 in street sale terms.
Police raided Hanley’s home in Coniston Crescent in December and recovered digital scales, clear plastic bags and two computers, plus a smaller amount of MCAT.
He was interviewed and bailed but a further search of the house was carried out in January and two mobile phones, another computer and £540 in cash were seized.
Mr Baker said examination of his emails revealed Hanley bought the MCAT over the Internet from a company based in Amsterdam, and had made a previous order worth about £2,000.
Further emails were made to another Internet company from whom he was ordering products, giving his mother’s address, but using the fictional name, ‘Mr Davies’.
Mr Baker said text messages sent from a mobile phone indicated he was dealing in MCAT.
Further details of dealing and potential future orders were revealed in examination of Hanley’s Facebook account.
When interviewed he said he was a drug user himself and was in the process of setting up a company to be called North-East Chemicals.
Mr Baker said the computer seized in the January raid also contained 66 images of extreme pornography involving humans and animals.
Hanley, 23, admitted being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition over importation of a class B drug, plus possession of a class B drug and of extreme pornography.
David Lamb, mitigating, said until “comparatively recently” this type of drug was not illegal, while Hanley made early admissions, and was not previously heavily convicted.
Jailing him for a total of two years and eight months, Judge Christopher Prince told Hanley: “There was significant evidence you had engaged in a certain amount of dealing in County Durham.
“You were indicating future dealing at a much higher level until police nipped it in the bud, bringing you to justice.”
Proceeds of crime proceedings will follow at the court early next year.
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