TWO dealers who were selling crack cocaine and heroin from their workplace were foiled after a police operation was launched.
Aaron McGinty and Michael Hughes were caught red-handed after officers became suspicious of what was going on behind the doors of AJ Autosmart on Green Street in Burnley, after several suspected drug users were seen coming and going from the premises.
Prosecutor Karen Brooks told Preston Crown Court that several teams of officers arrived at the unit just as a man was seen entering, later stopping him as he left the area.
After stopping the man, officers swooped on the garage where both McGinty and Hughes were inside, finding £30,000 worth of class A drugs and around £9,000 in cash
The two were arrested at the scene and both pleaded guilty to several counts of supplying class A drugs, with McGinty also pleading to an extra charge of possessing criminal property in the form of money made from drugs.
Jailing both of the men for a period of three years and nine months, Judge David Potter said: “You both conspired together to sell drugs from a property in Burnley for a month in premises rented for illegitimate purpose by Michael Hughes
“You had gotten yourself into debt and were prepared to work it off using the premises to supply drugs to street-users.
“You Aaron McGinty were an employee in that business and using your connections you assisted voluntarily and actively in the bagging and the selling of those drugs which were advertised for sale over the phone.
“AJ Autosmart in Burnley was the target of an operation by police in January when they saw known drug users entering the yard of the premises you were renting.
“One of those drugs users was stopped and found to be in possession of drugs and a search took place when you were both arrested.
“From the premises a significant quantity of class A drugs were recovered. The cocaine had a very high purity and within the premises were the means to cut that drug by bashing it.
“Also within a rucksack, which Mr McGinty accepts was his, was a significant quantity of cash – that gives a scale of the operation that was being operated.
“This was a significant role within the operation of dealing drugs to street-level customers. It was aggravated by the scale of the operation, the scale of the operation and the quantity of the drugs.”