Police have intercepted a drug dealer making his deliveries with a stash of transactions in his pants and a map of the area on his cell phone, a court has heard.
Charlie Cunningham was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when police pulled him over – he had a cell phone with drug requests and one with a card he was using to give instructions to his driver. When police searched his house, they found hundreds of pounds of cash in a cookie tin, along with a knockoff BB pistol.
Swansea Crown Court has heard that the 31-year-old was arrested on the afternoon of April 6 this year following the arrest of a Chevrolet car, by intelligence services, in the Gendros district in Swansea.
Hannah George, prosecuting, said Cunningham was the vehicle’s front passenger and was in possession of two phones. One of the mobiles, a cheap burner telephone, “kept ringing” while the police dealt with the accused, and officers counted 14 missed calls. The other phone was a smart phone and on the screen was a map of the area.
On the burner’s phone, police found messages between Cunningham and known drug addicts in Swansea, as well as bulk text messages that he had sent advertising “both” – heroin and cocaine – for sale, and a text saying, “Active with transport. Call me if you need to. Best food around.”
The accused was taken to Swansea Central Police Station and strip searched – in his underpants, police found a sock containing 50 wraps of crack with a market value of around Â£ 1,000. He then gave an “no comment” interview. A subsequent search of his house uncovered Â£ 500 in cash in a cookie tin, a small additional amount of cocaine and a black BB pistol imitation pistol.
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Charlie Tim Cunningham, of Gwynedd Avenue, Townhill, Swansea, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with the intention of supplying him when he appeared at the dock for a plea and sentence hearing. He already has 10 convictions for 20 offenses – including possession of a Class C drug with intent to deliver – mostly recorded in Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Courts.
Andrew Evans, for Cunningham, said the accused moved to Swansea three years ago to be with his partner, a city woman he met in London and who later decided to return to his hometown . He said his client “found it extremely difficult to settle, and extremely difficult to find work” in Swansea, and that as a result of the “unfortunate associations” he had made in the town, he started to take controlled substances which led to addiction and then to involvement in providing.
The lawyer said Cunningham hoped to take a course at Open University while serving the inevitable jail term he faced and that, upon his eventual release, he wanted to play an active role in his life. son.
Judge Catherine Richards told the accused that Class A drugs were ruining lives and that by her involvement in providing them “you have played your part in ruining the lives of others”.
She said that by his actions, the defendant had let down his partner and young child, adding that those who sold Class A drugs knew what would happen to them if they were caught.
Granting the defendant a 25% reduction for his guilty plea, the judge sentenced him to three years in prison. Cunningham will serve up to half of that detention period before being released on license under the UK government’s early release program to serve the rest of the community. A proceeds of crime law hearing in the case will be held on August 23.
The court heard that the driver of the car arrested along with Cunningham was still under police investigation.