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Dealer kept weapons to protect £87k drugs stash
A DRUG dealer who had £87,000 of drugs and three banned weapons to protect his stash, has been jailed for seven years.
Sean Flaherty was arrested last year after police raided his flat in Territorial Way, Headington, and found it was being used to “cut and process” cocaine.
The 32-year-old was also keeping a number of weapons near the drugs – a single-shot handgun, a stun gun disguised as a mobile phone, and an incapacitator spray.
He admitted possessing cocaine and MDMA – both Class A drugs – with intent to supply, as well as possessing three banned weapons.
Tetteh Turkson, prosecuting, said on Tuesday that the stash was discovered on Friday, September 6, last year.
He said police recovered around 750g of cocaine and 27g of MDMA, which together had an estimated street value of about £87,000.
Mr Turkson said officers also found a pestle and mortar, cocaine press and scales, along with 1.5kg of cutting agent benzocaine and £12,481.86 in cash.
He told Judge Gordon Risius: “This would appear to be somewhere where drugs were being cut and processed for onward sale.
“The position of the weapons together with the position of the drugs would suggest that he had the weapons in order to protect his drugs. We would say it is higher than mere street dealing.
The pistol discovered by police
“The items which this defendant had would seem to suggest placing him higher up the chain, nearer the source.
“He seems to be the person who is cutting the drugs to then break them down and package them for sale.”
Lucy Tapper, defending, said her client was not a “oneman operation” and other arrests had been made in connection with the drugs. She said he had been hit hard by the recent deaths of his father, uncle and aunt, but had tried to maintain a brave face for his family.
As his barrister read out letters from friends and family members Flaherty put his head in his hands and sobbed in the dock.
Miss Tapper added: “This was a relatively short period in his life, but one with devastating consequences.
“He fell back on drink and drugs, which led him into this kind of offending.”
The barrister added that Flaherty had played semi-professional football, worked as a boxing coach and had raised more than £19,000 for a friend with cervical cancer.
Judge Gordon Risius said the defendant only had one conviction on his record for drink driving in 2004.
He also told him he had taken into account that the pistol found by police was not capable of being fired.
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