Dealer's drugs sent in post
A drug dealer who imported £30,000 worth of ketamine from India complained to undercover police officers his post was late when the package finally arrived.
Todd Dent had arranged for four boxes of the recreational drug to be sent to two addresses in Weston-super-Mare while he was on holiday in India's clubbing capital Goa.
But when customs officers intercepted the drugs, police set up an undercover sting operation to catch him with the drugs red-handed.
Pretending to be Royal Mail workers, they delivered the packages at the end of January last year.
When Dent accepted the boxes of drugs, he told them: "I've been waiting for these since Christmas. I've been waiting for these from a friend in Goa."
Dent, 34, of Longton Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, was jailed for 15 months when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court yesterday.
He had previously pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of customs and excise, possession of ketamine with intent to supply and possession of diazepam.
James Ward, prosecuting, said: "On January 23, 2009, officers with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs reported a package from Goa.
"The package was addressed to Alexandra Parade, Weston-super-Mare, and contained two boxes with a crystalline substance.
"A second package, addressed to Magnolia Avenue, Weston-super-Mare, arrived later that day and again contained a crystalline substance."
The four boxes contained approximately 500g of ketamine, a class C drug, in each, with an estimated street value of £29,721. Police searched the Alexandra Parade address, which Mr Ward said was a massage parlour and linked to the defendant.
There they found approximately £9,800 worth of the sedative diazepam, a class C drug, and digital scales.
When arrested, Dent was caught on CCTV saying he had taken ketamine earlier that day, the court heard.
Dent told officers he had arranged for drugs to be sent over from India, but had expected valium and steroids, not ketamine.
Catherine Spedding, defending, said: "Normally he is a hard working man, the proprietor of a business that employs two other people.
"He has built the business up from scratch.
"He was in great financial difficulty following the break-up of a relationship.
"While on holiday in India, he came into contact with what he believed to be diazapam and foolishly made arrangements for it to be sent.
"The money he was going to get was not going to be used immediately for his own gain."
Tuesday, February 09, 2010, 07:00
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Dealer's drugs (Ketamine) sent in post