Cannabis dealer is caught in Cheadle with drugs in car
CANNABIS dealer Joseph Emery has been spared an immediate jail sentence.
The 22-year-old 'progressed' to dealing the class B drug after driving a drug dealer around, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor David Bennett said police found Emery behind the driver's seat of a Seat Leon in Cheadle in the early hours of the morning with an 18-year-old lad in the passenger seat.
Police noticed a clear plastic bag containing 2.2 grams of cannabis in the centre console with a street value of £20.
But a further search led officers to 40 plastic bags in a holdall in the boot.
Nine bags contained one gram of cannabis, worth £90, and 31 bags contained two grams, worth £620.
Mr Bennett said officers also recovered two throwing knives from the inside driver's door pocket. And they also found a large number of clear plastic bags, a set of digital scales and a cannabis grinder.
Emery initially denied any knowledge of the cannabis in the boot.
But his phone was seized and was found to contain a number of texts consistent with the supply of cannabis.
In his police interview Emery said he bought the two ornamental knives two weeks earlier and left them in the car by mistake. He denied knowledge of the cannabis in the boot and said it was left there by his drug dealer without his knowledge.
In a later interview, Emery admitted driving his dealer around and accepted he had dealt cannabis for the dealer. He said he had been dealing three to four weeks before his arrest.
Emery, of Ridgeway Road, Hanley, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of class B drug cannabis and having a knife in a public place on July 16 last year.
Andrew Turnock, mitigating, said Emery had no friends when he moved to Cheadle and 'fell under the spell' of others.
"He accepts it became apparent very quickly the people he was giving lifts to were engaged in the supply of drugs. He turned a blind eye. That escalated. He then became a courier and the recipient of text messages. He progressed to doing it a bit himself. He allowed himself to be manipulated and turned into the offender himself."
Judge Paul Glenn sentenced Emery to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, with 18 months supervision and 180 hours unpaid work. The judge told Emery: "You got into this because you were effectively taxiing a dealer around. You progressed to doing some dealing yourself for financial gain for three to four weeks."
Judge Glenn added he takes a serious view of any case involving knives. He said: "The inference I draw is that they were there in case you needed to protect yourself."