Funeral trip to Teesside ended with mourner’s drug arrest

A man who was stopped during a random Christmas crackdown on drink driving was found to have more the £7,000 worth of cannabis stashed in his car.

Alan Wilson traveled to Teesside to attend a funeral and was pulled over for a roadside breath test as he made his way home to Falkirk from the Stockton area.

Officers could smell cannabis in the vehicle and carried out a search where they recovered 111 deals of cannabis, a large amount of cash, and a number of other drug related items, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said the 41-year-old was arrested on December 13, 2019, but delays caused by Covid and getting the Class B drug analyzed meant the defendant wasn’t charged until last year.

He said Wilson handed over a joint to the officers who also found a grinder and the cannabis bush in plastic bags.

The court heard how Wilson had £19,747.15 in cash on him at the time of his arrest but maintained the money was from his gambling and an inheritance.

And a forensic search of his mobile phone did not reveal any evidence of drug dealing activity.

Mr Harley said the defendant paid £2,500 for the cannabis and expected to sell it for profit.

Wilson, of Little Denny Road, Falkirk, pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply.

The court heard how he did have his own business selling glassware and cannabis oil but now worked as a delivery driver.

Andrew Turton, mitigating, said urged the judge to consider a suspended sentence after his client immediately admitted the charge and suffered from a serious medical condition.

He added: “Three years have passed and there have been no further indications of any other difficulties.”

Judge Howard Crowson said: “At 41, with no other previous convictions, it’s a pity to have to see you in Crown Court now.

“You pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, when you were arrested, you admitted what you had done.

“You were not from this area and you were stopped as part of a Christmas drink-driving campaign, and for no other reason. The smelled cannabis and they found cannabis in your vehicle.

“The cash doesn’t seen to me to directly linked to this offense but that is for another hearing to decide.”

Wilson was sentenced to 14 months in custody suspended for 12 months.

He was also made subject to an electronically tagged curfew between 8pm and 7am for four months.

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