A young man who swapped a future dream of academia for selling drugs has been jailed after police found drugs and cash stashed in his home.

Jude Craig was arrested after a police raid resulted in officers recovering cocaine, cannabis, drug dealing paraphernalia, and more than £40,000 in cash.

The 21-year-old turned to dealing to pay off his own cannabis debt but his business acumen took him deeper into the illicit drugs market, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said the defendant was not at home when the police raided his home but he handed himself in the following day after seizure of the drugs he sold.

She said: “The police executed a warrant, entering using force but at the time there was no one present.

“From the garage, officers seized a significant number of items of drug paraphernalia including scales, zip lock bags, cocaine, and cannabis.

“Inside the property, in a rear bedroom, an amount of cash totalling £46,265 was recovered.”

The court heard how the drugs seized from the Middlesbrough man's home had an estimated street value of more than £4,000.

The Northern Echo: Jude CraigJude Craig (Image: Cleveland Police)

Craig, of Mulgrave Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, possession of cannabis, and possession of criminal property, following the raid on his home on November 18 last year.

Michele Turner, mitigating, said her client’s academic ambition faltered and he had turned his attention to drug dealing to settle his own bill.

“What started out to pay off his drug debt turned into an opportunity that no one in his own home realised was going on,” she added.

Recorder Richard Herrmann sentenced Craig to a total of two years and nine months in custody.

“It’s a great shame that I have to sentence you for a serious offence,” he said.

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“You are intelligent enough to understand the catastrophic impact drugs has on the community as a whole.

“It can only continue by people like you going on the streets and selling drugs.

“You knew this was an easy way to make significant amounts of money because you hadn’t been able to find a job and provide for your family.”

A proceeds of crime act hearing will take place in July to decide how much money the defendant will need to pay to the court.