A man who imported class A drug ecstasy from Holland is behind bars.
A Border Force officer intercepted a parcel addressed to 35-year-old James Butler, and it was found to contain 100 MDMA (ecstasy) tablets.
Police turned up to his Bignall End home and seized more ecstasy tablets, some ketamine, digital scales, grip seal bags and his phone. It was examined and contained messages which linked him to the supply of ecstasy. He also offered to supply ecstasy and another class A drug DMT.
Now Butler has been jailed for two-and-a-half years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Prosecutor David Jackson said a Border Force officer working at the Royal Mail International Logistics Centre in Langley, Berkshire, intercepted and examined a package addressed to Butler at his Bignall End home on August 3, 2018.
Mr Jackson said: “He found a grey bag which contained blue square tablets. He carried out a field test and they gave a positive indication for the presence of MDMA (ecstasy). There were 100 tablets.
“Police attended the defendant’s home on October 25, 2018. The defendant was in bed. Officers seized a mobile phone next to him. The recovered digital scales, grip seal bags, a tub of white powder and a bag containing herbal material.
“The items were examined. The package was found to contain 97 tablets of MDMA. The tablets sell for between £5 and £10 on the open market and the value would have been £485 to £970.
“The tub of ketamine was valued at £180, 19 MDMA tablets and a crystal of MDMA was worth between £100 and £200, and just under a gram of DMT was valued at £50.
“His phone was interrogated. There were a number of messages between April 2016 and October 2018 which were consistent with low level street dealing in MDMA.
“There was a message from someone asking if he could get DMT. The defendant responded that he had Changa (another word for the drug), sent him a picture and offered to sell it at £50 a gram.”
Butler told police in August last year that he ordered the package through the ‘dark web’ because it was cheaper and better quality. He said he bought 100 tablets. They were mainly for his own use but he would occasionally sell to friends for £5 each. He said the ketamine was his and he used it for depression and anxiety. He said the 19 MDMA tablets were a collection and were not for sale.
He added the DMT was for his use and he only offered the drug for sale on one occasion.
Butler, of Megacre, Bignall End, pleaded guilty to supplying a class A drug; two charges of offering to supply a class A drug; fraudulent evasion of a prohibition; and possession of a class B drug.
Rob Holt, mitigating, said Butler is now a different person to the one who committed the offences.
He said Butler has no previous offences involving drugs. Mr Holt said: “It is an all too frequent pattern, where a person develops an addiction, is unable to fund that addiction, so he turns to dealing to fund it.
“He has turned his back on drug use.”
Judge Paul Glenn said: “The package from the Netherlands was intercepted and found to contain 100 tablets of MDMA. Police attended at your home address and found further drugs there, sets of digital scales and grip seal bags – tools of the the trade for a drug dealer.
“You were interviewed in August 2020 and by then the police had the damning phone evidence. You accepted buying ecstasy via the dark web. You accepted occasionally selling it to friends.
“The DMT was for your own use but you accept offering to sell it on one occasion.
“I have read the pre-sentence report. You accept selling ecstasy over a significant period of time. You used ketamine to manage your depression. You sold drugs to finance your own drug use which you say was £60 a day.
“But you made a conscious decision to purchase from abroad via the dark web. You know full well the potential danger these sorts of drugs carry with them.
“It is just too serious I can’t reduce it down to a two year sentence (which could be suspended).”