A man who took cocaine with him to a Wrexham FC away match was caught when police carried out a ‘stop-and-search’ of the coach he was on.
Aaron Squire, 20, pleaded guilty to possessing more than 11 grammes of cocaine in September last year with intent to supply it.
Squire, of Heol Llewelyn, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, who had no previous convictions, slumped against the window of the dock, crying, as he was jailed for two years.
At Warwick Crown Court, prosecutor Neil Bannister said that on September 29, Squire travelled with other Wrexham fans to an away game against Nuneaton Borough.
But police were conducting a ‘stop-and-search’ operation at Corley services on the M6, and the coach in which Squire was travelling was among those stopped.
When Squire was searched, officers found three small self-seal bags containing cocaine on him and he was arrested.
The search continued, and on the coach they recovered a holdall in which they found 10 more self-seal bags of cocaine, a chopping board and a DVD case with traces of cocaine on them.
He was taken to Nuneaton police station where he was searched again, and officers found £517 in cash on him, most of it in £20 notes.
Mr Bannister said that in total there was 11.29 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of £480.
Questioned, Squire said he had been paid the day before and bought a month’s supply of cocaine for £350.
He said he had three bags on him and had taken some during the journey, while another person on the coach had also used the chopping board for sniffing cocaine.
Of the 10 wraps found in his bag, he said he had taken them with him in case his mother checked his bedroom.
He denied selling any of the drug to other supporters on the coach and claimed it was all for his own use.
But Judge Peter Carr observed that in a pre-sentence report Squire had said he did supply to others, in part to fund his own cocaine habit.
Paul Smith, defending, said Squire had “done everything he could to rehabilitate himself” since his arrest.
Mr Smith said that immediate custody would be “a personal and a family disaster,” because his mother was a student and the family – for whom his arrest came as “a complete bombshell” – would struggle without his income.
But Judge Carr told Squire: “It is truly a tragedy when someone of your talents and abilities appears before the court to be sentenced for the sort of offence I have to sentence you for, the supply of a drug such as cocaine.
“It is plain from the packaging and the amount you had and the cash found on you that you were a street dealer.
“What you were doing was selling to feed your own addiction.
“There are a number of factors the court can look at to move it away from the starting point.
“You were supplying only the drug to which you were addicted, it is clear you are very remorseful, you have no previous convictions and there is a determination, successful it seems, to kick the addiction which has brought you before the court.
“Mr Smith urges me to suspend the sentence, but I am afraid that would send out completely the wrong message so far as any dealing in class A drugs is concerned.”