Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Man, 24, had more than £250k of cocaine
12:00am Saturday 25th August 2012 in News
A MAN caught with more than a quarter of a million pounds worth of cocaine and an arsenal of guns has been jailed for 15 years.
Daniel Stewart, of Mistletoe Court, Okus, had more than 5.5kg of the drug, worth about £320,000, at a ‘safe house’ he rented in a sleepy residential road.
And when police searched the 24-year-old’s own flat they found a sat nav which led them to an isolated rural spot where they dug up the huge cache of weapons.
Carefully buried underground was a sawn-off shotgun, 9mm pistol, a small bore revolver, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition for all three guns.
Investigations into Stewart found he had bought a Rolex watch and Cartier bracelet from Deacons for £10,200 in cash.
Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the police had been aware of Stewart’s involvement in the drugs world for some time before the arrest.
He said officers went to a house, in Exmouth Street in the Kingshill area, on June 1 where they saw him carrying two large boxes from the property. When they looked inside they found six bags each containing about 350 grams of cocaine.
Stewart also had 125 grams of pure cocaine and benzocaine which is frequently used as a cutting agent.
Inside the house they found more cocaine, as well as just over 2.2kg of cannabis, worth about £22,000 in street deals, a small bore bullet and just under £35,000 in cash.
They also found a food processor which had been used for mixing the drugs with a cutting agent, though the defendant said that was done by others elsewhere.
Stewart’s flat was searched and a vacuum sealing machine was found, along with assorted cross bows, swords, knives and an extendible asp.
Mr Meeke said a sat nav was found with a set of co-ordinates programmed into it which led officers to an isolated rural area near Aldbourne.
When Stewart was questioned by the police he admitted he had got involved in the drugs trade after his own habit spiralled out of control.
He said after paying off his debt he was getting £2,000 a month and had been doing it for about six months.
Stewart admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis, as well as possessing criminal property and eight firearms offences.
Rob Ross, defending, said his client got involved in drugs after suffering depression when he went to university to study graphic design. After dropping out and running up a huge debt to dealers they preyed on him to do their bidding, he said, and he has ended up where he is now.
He said he was as honest as he could be with the police and said he was concerned at what he was involved in when the guns arrived.
Jailing him Judge Douglas Field said: “This was a substantial operation. You were motivated by financial advantage. You were aware of the scale.
“You say you fell into the use of drugs when you were at college and suffering from depression.
“Your use increased, you fell into debt and became beholden to people in the drug world.
“Very quickly you were becoming very much more involved, making significant sums of money and enjoying a high lifestyle as a result of your activities.”