Dealer caught with 'tennis ball sized' bag of drugs in hotel room

Ipswich Crown Court

Man to be sentenced over string of 'dine and dash' offences in Suffolk - Credit: Archant

A 24-year-old has admitted being part of a drug supply chain after being caught with a "tennis ball sized" wad of heroin and cocaine in Ipswich.

Finlay Hughes, of no fixed address, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday to admit possession with intent to supply heroin and possession with intent to supply cocaine.

Prosecutor John Farmer said Hughes was caught with a blue "tennis ball sized" plastic bag, covering another bag containing 14 individual wraps of heroin and cocaine, on March 13.

Mr Farmer told the court: "The prosecution submits that the defendant had a significant role in street dealing.

"He is not a man of the local community, but someone who came from some distance."

Mr Farmer said a further search of a hotel room, in which Hughes had been staying, turned up another three wraps and two bank cards for two different current accounts.

He added that there was evidence to suggest Hughes and his operation had been "seeking to exploit someone's address" from which to deal drugs.

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"If you look at the whole picture, this is someone seeking to make himself significant profit," added Mr Farmer, who said a bundle of as yet uncounted £20 notes was also recovered from the hotel room.

Hughes was on licensed released from prison at the time for offences which his barrister, Sarah Reid, said were linked to issues with alcohol and drugs.

"The reason he got involved was because he had accrued a significant debt, which, it was suggested, he could pay off by working in Suffolk," she added.

Judge Rupert Overbury adjourned sentencing in order for prosecutors to provide clarification on the volume and value of items seized.

He also requested a report on how Hughes had responded to supervision by the probation service and his suitability for a drug rehabilitation requirement.

Hughes, who appeared before the court in custody, on video link from Norwich prison, was further remanded until his sentencing at the same court on Wednesday, April 28.

Judge Overbury told him: "It may be that, with credit for your guilty plea, it might get down to the two-year maximum I'm able to suspend, but it may be that I can't, and it will be a straightforward determinate sentence.

"It will depend on the information I'm provided with."

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