Three men on trial charged in connection with alleged drug dealing operation from Hartlepool flat
Three men have gone on trial accused of being involved in the drugs trade in Hartlepool.
Ryan Maddren and Nathan Hall are alleged to have dealt drugs from a flat they shared at Mariner's Point, Hartlepool.
Daniel Sanderson is alleged to have been the 'money man' behind the operation after more than £4,500 was found in his jacket pocket.
The men deny all charges against them.
A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard police raided the flat in Mariner's Point where they found just over 11g of cocaine, and other items indicative of drug dealing.
"When the first police officer entered the property he collided with a large piece of wood," said Chris Smith, prosecuting.
"We say that was a barricade, put there because drugs and cash were being kept on the premises.
"There was also a knuckleduster in the flat, and a large number of knives, not in the kitchen but in a bedroom.
"We say these items were there for protection.
"Five mobile phones were found, three of which were found to have messages on them which may indicate drug dealing."
The court heard police found a tub in the flat which contained cocaine with a street value of £535, and numerous small plastic bags, some of which had traces of cocaine inside them.
Police found scales approximately the size of a pocket calculator, which the jury was told are of a type typically used by dealers because they can weigh in fractions of a gram.
"Cash was found in the sleeve of a combat jacket pocket," said Mr Smith.
"There was £4,610 which was later identified as belonging to Mr Sanderson.
"We say he couldn't have had legitimate access to such a sum.
"When interviewed, Mr Sanderson claimed he had been made made redundant from his job as a pipe fitter.
"He said he had withdrawn the money from the bank because he didn't trust banks.
"Hall exercised his right to remain silent.
"Maddren said he used cannabis and cocaine occasionally, but was not involved in dealing cocaine."
Maddren, 24, now of George Street, Darlington, and Hall, 25, now of New Queen Street, Scarborough, deny possession of a class A drug with intent to supply it.
Sanderson, 23, of Keswick Grove, Newcastle, denies being in possession of criminal property.
All of the offences are alleged to have taken place in February 2016.
The trial is expected to last three days.