£180,000 drugs den man faces prison

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A MAN is facing jail for hoarding more than 30kg of amphetamine with a street value of £180,000.

Jason Adams, 40, was arrested following one of Hartlepool's biggest ever drugs seizures.

Police found packets of amphetamine powder, known as "speed", and several thousand pounds in cash in an early morning raid on a house in Irvine Road, Hartlepool, on January 15 last year.

Further inquiries led officers to a garage block near Innes Road, in the Owton Manor area of town, where several kg of the Class B drug was being stored.

Adams admitted possessing 30.175kg of amphetamine with intent to supply it when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

The swoop was one of Cleveland Police's biggest ever recoveries of a Class B drug.

Adams was remanded in custody at his own request and is now looking at a lengthy spell behind bars.

He had been due to stand trial after previously denying any wrongdoing, but changed his plea.

Adams pleaded guilty on a written basis that he had allowed someone else to use his garage to store something.

He said he did not know it was drugs or how much there was, but suspected it could be illegal.

Judge John Walford said: "You have had the good sense to plead guilty to this charge and that will go in your favour when sentence comes to be passed.

"Clearly, anyone who facilitates the retention or distribution of drugs, particularly in this quantity, will receive a custodial sentence and that will happen in this case."

Paul Cleasby, mitigating for Adams, of Irvine Road, Hartlepool, said: "He clearly recognises a custodial sentence will follow in due course and for that reason he has specifically instructed me not to apply for bail on his behalf."

Prosecutors said a Proceeds of Crime Application would follow later in the year to seize any profit Adams may have made from the offence.

Police hailed the discovery as proof of their determination to disrupt the town's drug trade.

Sergeant John Hemsworth, head of Hartlepool's Drugs Unit, said at the time: "This was a substantial recovery of amphetamine which would have been destined for the streets of Hartlepool and further afield.

"I have looked back through the years and this is one of the biggest recoveries Hartlepool has ever seen.

"This amount of amphetamine has never been recovered before."

Adams will be sentenced next month.