A Londonderry man who was described as ‘a middleman’ in the chain of drug supply in the city has been jailed.
George Campbell, of Glendale Road, pleaded guilty to possessing Class B drugs with intent to supply, possessing cocaine and possessing criminal property in April, last year.
Londonderry Crown Court heard police conducted a search of the 28-year-old’s home and noticed a strong smell of cannabis in the back garden.
They found a training dummy, used for martial arts and boxing and discovered three black bin bags inside it. Each bag contained 240 grams of cannabis.
A further nine bags were found inside the house, containing 214 grams of the Class B drug.
The court heard a total of 940 grams of cannabis was found. The drugs had an estimated street value of £20,000.
Police also seized scales and a joint and two white plastic wraps containing 3.62 grams of cocaine valued at £200.
A wallet containing £1,280 in cash was found under a pillow along with receipts for jewellery.
The defendant’s mother gave police a gold bracelet and necklace which he had purchased.
During police interview, Campbell admitted possessing the cannabis but said he was holding onto the bulk of it for a third party he refused to name.
The court heard that Campbell had three previous convictions for drug offences.
It was also revealed that Campbell had served a prison sentence in 2015 for possessing Class A and Class B drugs with intent to supply.
Passing sentence Judge Philip Babington said that Campbell had finished his licence from a previous prison sentence “and within six months had reoffended”.
The judge said despite Campbell claiming to be ‘regretful’ for the offences there was “a medium likelihood of reoffending”.
Judge Babington went on: “This is a serious case where someone is obviously heavily involved in the supply of drugs and continues that very activity, months after his licence expires.”
He said the only possible sentence was a custodial one and imposed a prison sentence of three years and two months. Half this sentence will be spent in custody and the remaining half on licence. The proceeds from the sale of the jewellery are to go to the local charity, HURT.
After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Tom McClure, of PSNI’s Organised Crime Unit, said: “We will continue in our efforts to make Northern Ireland a safer place to live and work by proactively investigating and arresting people involved in serious criminality. The supply of controlled drugs by gangs is the cause of significant harm in our communities. Those who involve themselves in such criminality should expect to end up in a prison cell.”