£40,000 drugs haul found at car dealer’s home and business

Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.
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A car dealer stood to make more than £40,000 from illegal drugs found in his home and business unit.

Police raided a unit at Parsons Road, Peterlee, rented by Gerald Faulkner, where they found a sophisticated cannabis farm, Teesside Crown Court heard.

“Officers also searched his house,” said Stephen Duffield, prosecuting. “In the house they found 65.2g of cocaine at 78 per cent purity, three mature cannabis plants, and 1.1kg of dried cannabis.

“In the unit there were 52 plants in several rooms. The plants were under plastic tents with lighting and irrigation systems. It is clear they were being grown professionally.

“The cocaine was 78 per cent pure, that is not indicative of a street user, it is indicative of someone who intended to cut the drug to sell it.”

Police assessed the street value of all the drugs to be more than £40,000.

Faulkner, 41, of Ellison Road, Peterlee, admitted possessing class A and class B drugs with intent to supply them in May, 2013.

During a hearing to determine the level of his involvement in dealing, Faulkner told the court the cannabis growing equipment was given to him by a friend who could not keep it because the friend’s new partner was a Jehovah’s Witness.

Faulkner said he was growing the plants as a hobby, and he had bought the cocaine at a party to ‘give it a try’.

Judge Simon Bourne Arton rejected Faulkner’s claims the drugs were mostly for personal use.

He said: “The quantity and purity of the cocaine was well above that which an ordinary user would have.

The judge adjourned for sentence on November 9.