A man who made more than £70,000 out of dealing drugs has been spared jail after showing good ‘prospects of successful rehabilitation’.
Warren James Hicks, of Treglenwith Road in Camborne, turned to cannabis when he was 15 in a way of improving his self-confidence after family issues.
Truro Crown Court heard that the young man, now 29, was importing cannabis from Canada for resale.
Hicks was in the dock on Tuesday (October 1) for sentencing for importing cannabis, possessing with intent to supply drugs including cannabis, MDMA, ketamine, mephedrone and possessing cocaine.
He was also in possession of criminal property, namely £950 in cash, and paying £75,402 in cash into four bank accounts in his own name.
The court heard how a package from Canada addressed to Hicks was intercepted by the UK border force on April 30, 2017.
Prosecuting, barrister Philip Lee said: “It contained two packages of cannabis, with 56g each.
“The drugs officer of the case was looking at that and said that an average price online would be about £600. There would be potentially £500 or £600 profits.”
On May 28 of the same year, police executed a drugs raid at Hicks’ address. He was not at the property at the time and officers found a package of 57g of cannabis, empty packages, plastic bags used to deal drugs and cash.
Mr Lee continued: “There was also a safe, police couldn’t get into it. When they opened it with force a couple of days later, they found ketamine and MDMA and packages ready to supply.”
Officers also found approximately 70g of mephedrone.
“The following day, the defendant was stopped,” Mr Lee told the court. “He had some small amounts of drugs in his possession.
“From 2013 onwards, he received £70,000 worth of credits, mainly cash.
“Whilst not massive amounts of stock seized, over the years the defendant has been depositing money from the profit of drugs.”
Defending, barrister Edward Bailey said: “He is 29 years of age now and has had three previous convictions in 2015 and 2018 in relation to simple possession of cannabis in three occasions and mephedrone in one occasion and no record whatsoever of supply offences.
“He has no previous experience of custody.
“He comes from a good home and he himself is an articulate young man but always felt overshadowed by his brother.”
Mr Bailey added that Hicks was also left in shock after his father left the family home never to return.
He continued: “Aged about 15, he started to take cannabis in a way of overcoming his lack of self-esteem.
“His first girlfriend underwent an abortion in 2014 and that moment is when he started ordering in larger amounts of drugs.”
The court heard how Hicks used to import drugs from countries where it is legal, using the dark web.
Mr Bailey said: “He prefers doing it that way, so that he does not get into contact with the dealers further up the chain and he does not get into debts with dealers.
“When his friends discovered what he was doing, they asked him to order on his behalf, that’s what he started to do.
“That is all related to class B drugs.”
At the time of the sentencing, Hicks had been three weeks in custody and enrolled into a substance misuse program.
“He’s determined to put that drug dealing past behind him,” Mr Bailey concluded.
Sentencing, judge Robert Linford said: “You pleaded guilty at various stages of these proceedings.
“In relation of the most serious count (ecstasy), you intended to consume it in the summer of 2017 and share it with friends but not with the public in general.
“The whole picture here is of you fronting up as it were an organisation of people in which you would purchase initially a quantity of class B drugs and they would give you the money. There were many years of that kind of activity.
“That allows me to take an exceptional course, your basis of plea entice that position. I bear in mind that this case was initially investigated in 2017 and here we are in the autumn of 2019.
“You have now been in custody for a few weeks and know therefore what it is like. You will return if you breach the conditions that I’m about to state.
“There is some prospect of successful rehabilitation.”
Judge Linford gave Hicks two years of imprisonment suspended for two years.
He continued: “They will all be suspended for two years. You will do 200 hours of unpaid work for community and you have to undertake 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
“If you keep out of trouble in the last two years, you will stay out of prison.
“The drugs will be destroyed.”
A confiscation order has also been issued.