County Durham cannabis user ordered supplies over internet from Mexico to avoid local dealers

Durham Crown Court heard how local drug user ordered cannabis from Mexico as it was cheaper and avoided need to use local dealers

Durham Crown Court heard how local drug user ordered cannabis from Mexico as it was cheaper and avoided need to use local dealers

First published in News The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

A CANNABIS user ordered his supply over the internet from Mexico, as it was cheaper and avoided the need to deal with local “undesirables”, a court heard.

But James Robert Bridgewater’s downfall came about when HM Revenue and Customs officers intercepted his third consignment on arrival in this country, on May 21 last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that the package contained 150g of herbal cannabis.

Ian West, prosecuting, said it was addressed to Bridgewater’s home in County Durham, where he was arrested three days later.

Seizures were made of “significant” items, including a small amount of cannabis resin, self-seal bags, scales, plus ‘detritus’ indicating previous drug use.

Mr West said examination of the contents of a lap-top computer and mobile phone also indicated an element of supply.

Bridgewater told police he made three orders over the internet, the latest an £85 transaction, for drugs he would expect to pay £320 for in this country.

He said he sold single gram bags of cannabis for £10 and only made a small profit.

“It was a one-man band drug importation enterprise. His role was as entrepreneur with a small amount of street dealing.”

Twenty-year-old Bridgewater, formerly of Langdale Avenue, Crook, now of Frederick Street North, in Meadowfield, near Durham, was said to be of previous good character.

He admitted fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on importation of drugs, and asked for two similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Bridgewater also admitted supplying cannabis and simple possession of the class B drug.

John Turner, mitigating, said Bridgewater searched the internet and found an address in Mexico where he could obtain cannabis, ordering consignments of 150g, 50g and 60g.

“The initial transaction was on a basis it was for himself, but he did sell within a circle of friends on five or six occasions.

“It was a highly unsophisticated operation. He’s clearly not thought through the consequences.

“But he’s since stopped using drugs, full stop, and moved away from the area he was in.”

Recorder Simon Jackson told Bridgewater: “I look at you as a naive, foolish young man who embarked on buying drugs via the internet from Mexico so you wouldn’t have to deal with undesirable people who would normally sell them here.”

The Recorder imposed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, to include probation supervision and 250-hours’ unpaid work.

Bridgewater will also be subject of four-month 8pm - 7am electronically-monitored home curfew.

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