A Salford drug dealer pretended he worked as a cleaner in a church to get loans to buy expensive electric bikes.

Jamie Whiteley was caught after police found a car stuffed with thousands of pounds worth of money and cannabis.

The 30-year-old, of Inghamwood Close, had a network of street dealers working for him who would sell the class B drug in Salford and Manchester.

They would ride around on motorbikes or mopeds, and would handle buckets full of cannabis and cash.

Whiteley was caught following a police investigation named Operation Stroke, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Undercover officers caught him directing his street dealers.

They watched as his dealers would leave items under the wheel arches of a car for street dealers to collect.

The car was used to store the cannabis, cash and drug paraphernalia like snap bags and scales.

Police searched the car and found buckets full of cannabis and cash in the boot.

They seized more than £4,000 in money and cannabis worth about £7,000.

Officers searched Whiteley’s home in Higher Broughton in May 2017.

They found two electric pedal cycles– worth £5,000 each.

Whiteley had told finance companies that he was a cleaner at a local church in Higher Broughton to get loans to buy the bikes.

He said he earned around £25,000.

Jamie Whiteley, 30, has been sentenced to two years in prison

Members of the church confirmed that they hadn't heard of him and that he never worked there.

During the search, officers also found a Transit van, two quad bikes and a cars - including a BMW, two VW Golfs, and a Ford Focus.

Whiteley was sentenced to two years in prison at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday (January 23).

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cannabis and three counts of fraud at an earlier hearing.

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He was also ordered to repay £10,125 or face further custody as part of a proceeds of crime order.

PC Alex Price, of GMP’s Salford district, said: “This person thought they were above the law and beyond detection, yet during this operation we monitored him and his associates closely as they carried out their illegal activities in Salford. 

“I would like to thank the officers in this case as it is thanks to all of their hard work that this person is behind bars and the community is a safer place as a result.

“I hope this sentencing sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue those who supply drugs on our streets and we will go to great lengths to bring them to justice.”

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