Former Toyota and Bombardier worker was ‘steeped’ in dealing cannabis

A former Toyota and Bombardier worker who became steeped in drug-dealing to “pay off debts” was caught with thousands of pounds worth of cannabis.

Derby Crown Court heard how Usman Iqbal had started gambling and taking the illicit drug after his mother died some years ago.

The 24-year-old later went on to start selling the class B drug in a bid to pay off debts.

But this was all brought to an end when police raided a Normanton address, where they found up to £11,000 worth of the illicit drug, as well as more than £5,000 in cash.

Stephen Kemp, prosecuting, told the court a search warrant was undertaken early last year.

He said: “The defendant was in the rear upstairs bedroom. It was there that a significant amount of cannabis and cash with scales and deal bags were found in the room.

“The defendant was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.”

Mr Kemp than revealed the extent of the find by police, which included a total of £11,000 worth of the drug being recovered, as well as more than £5,500 in cash.

A white Nokia was also seized “from his hands” which indicated “the user of the phone was dealing in drugs”.

He said when Iqbal was interviewed, he made “no comment” to all questions asked to him, but when asked about the cash, drugs and phone he said they were “all mine”.

The court heard Iqbal had been committed to Derby Crown Court after pleaded guilty to the two offences at an earlier hearing at magistrates’ court.

Stephen Tettey, mitigating, told the court Iqbal was “in essence” dealing drugs “by himself”.

He said: “The defendant accepts his primary motivation for involvement was financial gain. He had a number of personal debts and debts linked to his family home.

“He became involved in dealing drugs to try to address those debts. He had been taking cannabis since he was 16, following the passing of his mother. He found himself gambling as it gave him a high. It spiralled.

“Prior to this conviction, for periods of time he had held down gainful employment at Toyota and, subsequently, Bombardier.

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“If the court were minded to impose a suspended sentence…(it would be the) last occasion he finds himself before this court.”

Iqbal, of Meynell Street, Normanton, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis and possession of criminal property at an earlier hearing at magistrates’ court.

Jailing Iqbal for 12 months, Judge Nirmal Shant QC, honorary recorder of Derby, said: “You were steeped in the supply of cannabis.

“Police recovered a total of (£11,000) worth of cannabis and, in relation to the second matter, police recovered [more than £5,000 in] cash.

“I’m very clear you were supplying to people on the streets. You were so steeped in the supply of cannabis on to the streets of this city.

“[A suspended sentence] I can’t be sure would be a just penalty for what you did. The sentence has to be immediate custody.”

Courtesy of Derbyshire Live – Derby News