Fireman stashed £215,000 of drugs to pay debts

Carl Miller

Carl Miller

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A RESPECTED fireman and community worker who moonlighted as a drugs courier has been jailed after he was caught with more than £200,000 of cocaine and cannabis.

Hartlepool firefighter and family man Carl Miller, 28, got mixed up in the drugs world after he built up debts.

He was jailed for three years and 10 months at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

The judge said his downfall was “almost beyond belief” after hearing how Miller was a respected firefighter with a promising career ahead of him and volunteered as a sports coach in the community.

Miller was caught transporting just under 36 kilos of skunk cannabis with a street value of £153,000 from Scarborough to Teesside on October 4 last year.

He was pulled over by police in the Renault van at Guisbrough.

Following the discovery of the cannabis, police searched his home in Marlowe Road, Hartlepool, and found just under 1.25 kilos of compressed cocaine in his garage.

The court the Class A drug was 69 per cent pure and had a street value of £62,150.

Miller said he was storing it for local drugs bosses.

A hydraulic press and plates used to compress drugs after they had been cut was also found.

Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, said: “The crown say that for both matters, the cocaine and the cannabis, the defendant had a significant role motivated by financial advantage and showed some awareness and understanding of the scale of the operation as evident by being in possession of the drugs and technical tools to produce further products.”

The dad of one previously pleaded guilty to charges of possessing Class A and B drugs with intent to supply from October 4 and 5 last year.

Peter Makepeace, mitigating, said Miller had got into arrears with his mortgage and council tax after his partner lost her job as a school teacher.

He had previously got a university degree and a well-paid job in the oil industry but left in 2009 to settle down with a family and pursue a career in the fire service.

Miller also volunteered as a football and rugby coach to children and was the face of the brigade’s Fire Fit campaign.

He has since resigned from the brigade.

Mr Makepeace said: “He was given an opportunity to obtain money which he thought was his silver bullet out of the problems he face and he took it to his eternal regret.

“He understands that the people who have been the focus of his life, his work colleagues, the children he coached and his family are going to feel betrayed and deceived when they hear of these offences and it is a heartfelt blow to his dignity.”

Judge Peter Armstrong, said: “For you to get involved in drugs at this level is almost beyond belief, but because of debts that you unfortunately got into you extremely foolishly took this as a way to get out of trouble.

“Those involved in the distribution of drugs whether Class A or B at this level have to expect a custodial sentence.”

The former Brierton and Hartlepool Sixth Form College student previously appeared in the Mail when he won the nutty slack race at Headland Carnival.