The story of how the police “intruded on a mini-convention of Kirkby-in-Ashfield cannabis dealers” was told at Nottingham Crown Court.
Officers visited an address on Alexander Street, looking to locate a wanted man, the court heard.
But instead they stumbled upon three young men in a garden shed, which smelled strongly of cannabis. Now two of the men have been handed suspended prison-sentences
The trio were Ryan Sharp, 20, of Alexander Street, Kirkby; Jordan Campbell, 23, of Brentwood Road, Bamford, Derbyshire; and a 17-year-old youth from Kirkby who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The court heard that on searching the shed, the police discovered in the lining of the ceiling a plastic container filled with 24 one-gram bags of the drug and £56 in cash.
When asked about the cannabis, Sharp said: “It’s mine.”, Campbell said: “No, it’s mine” and the youth said: “It’s not mine. I’ve only come for a smoke.”
A search of the trio themselves, said David Allan, prosecuting, found more cannabis, more cash and also mobile phones.
The phones contained text messages indicating drug-dealing. “One message read: mega aliens, which is apparently slang for cannabis,” said Mr Allan. “Another read: mega supers, while the drafts section of one of the phones appeared to include a dealer list.”
Also found was another bag containing £1,300, although Campbell denied this was proceeds from the sale of cannabis. He claimed he had received it as compensation after sustaining an injury at work and was planning to buy a motorbike with it.
Both Campbell, a chef, and Sharp, a joiner, pleaded guilty to charges of possessing cannabis with intent to supply on Thursday, November 12 last year and of supplying the drug between Thursday, October 1 and Friday, November 13.
For Campbell, his barrister, Katrina Wilson, mitigating, said that, at the time of the offences, he had lost his job, his accommodation and his girlfriend, whom he had met in his home city of Manchester.
“He had been living with her parents, but was asked to leave,” said Ms Wilson. “He is now living with his grandmother, which enables him to remain close to his 15-month-old child. He also has a new job.”
For Sharp, his barrister, Emma Coverley, mitigating, said he accepted responsibility for the offences and acknowledged he had clearly done wrong.
“He perhaps showed a degree of immaturity,” said Miss Coverley. “His relationship with his mother broke down when he was 18 years old and he he has been involved in the supply of drugs for his own use for a period of time.
“He is now living with his grandmother, but his mother is in court to support him and is happy to be reconciled with him on condition he ceases using cannabis.”
Campbell and Sharp were each sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Campbell was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community, while Sharp was also ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Jeremy Lea told them: “Dealing with cannabis is a serious matter, especially in order to fund your own lifestyle. Cannabis causes all sorts of problems for people.
“But both of you are young and in work. This is an opportunity to put it behind you, mend your ways and give something back to the local community.”
The youth had been dealt with last month at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court, where he was referred to the Mansfield and Ashfield youth offender panel for six months.