Ipswich: Man sent to jail after police found tablets worth �120,000

A MAN who used his one bedroom flat as a “distribution hub” for tablets he had imported from India is starting a 28-month prison sentence.

Police who raided 35-year-old Steven Watson’s home in Lark Rise, Martlesham Heath, in December found around 50,000 pills with a street value of �120,000, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Officers used recorded delivery labels and CCTV footage to work out that between August and December last year Watson had posted 397 packages from post offices in the Martlesham area to addresses in the UK, America and six European countries, said Robert Sadd, prosecuting.

Watson admitted three offences of possessing Diazepam, Alpazolam and Nitrazepam, which are all class C drugs, with intent to supply and was jailed for two years and four months.

“This was clearly a large scale commercial operation and you were the distribution hub in the UK,” said Judge John Devaux.

The court heard that when police executed a search warrant at Watson’s first floor flat they found an unopened parcel from India which contained 19,000 tablets.

Further tablets were found in other parcels –making a total of 50,000.

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Steven Dyble, for Watson, said his client had battled against a heroin addiction and had successfully completed two drug rehabilitation orders which had been imposed by courts in the past.

He began suffering from depression, insomnia and paranoia in 2011 and was prescribed category C drugs by his doctor. He became addicted to the tablets and when his prescription wasn’t renewed he sought to obtain them over the internet.

He was sent tablets by a man in India and began distributing drugs from his flat after running up a debt. “He became a distribution hub in the UK,” said Mr Dyble.

A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place at a later date.