Liverpool ‘cuckoo’ drug dealer jailed after police sting

A drug dealer has been jailed after being caught with hundreds of wraps stuffed into a coffee jar.

Adam Powell, 29, was found by police at a flat in Paignton in possession of thousands of pounds worth of heroin and cocaine, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He had taken over, or cuckooed, the property from a local addict who would deliver drugs in a County Lines style operation.

A judge said the crime was ‘depressingly familiar’ to the courts and involved a defendant from another part of the country coming to the South West to supply Class A drugs.

Powell, from Liverpool, admitted two charges of possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply and was jailed for three years.

The offence took place back in June 2017.

Prosecutor Mr Ian Graham said police were in the town centre of Paignton when they saw a woman conducting a suspected drugs deal in Bishops Place.

The woman shouted a warning up to her flat when she saw police but officers gained entry and found Powell. They carried out a search and found £500 in cash and telephone evidence of drug deals.

They discovered 437 wraps of heroin and cocaine with a street value of £4,370 in the coffee jar. The wraps had Powell’s DNA on them.

Mr Graham said the seizure bore all the hallmarks of County Lines. Powell had no apparent connection to Paignton, the phone was used to advertise drugs for sale via text messages, and a local runner delivered the drugs while he stayed at the flat and wrapped them.

The defendant appeared at court via video link from prison. A few weeks before the incident he committed a serious violent assault and was sentenced to six years in prison. He has a history of violence dating back to the youth courts.

Mr Kevin Batch, defending, said Powell had turned his life around while in jail. At the time of the offending he was vulnerable, addicted to Class A drugs and sold them to pay off debts to those further up the chain.

Judge Timothy Rose said: “This was what the courts see as depressingly familiar at the present time and is widely described as a County Lines style drug operation.”

Devon Live – Devon News