WORK by a sniffer dog led to the arrest of man who was in possession of cocaine.
Paul Matthew Keenan admitted possessing the class A drug with intent to supply.
Keenan claimed he had simply bought the drug to share among friends, but he was found with the drugs before he had a chance to pass them on – thanks to specially trained Molly.
A court heard Molly had been taught to bark when she smelled drugs. She indicated to her handler that Keenan had drugs in Wrexham town centre one night last October.
He was found to have 12 separately wrapped packages of cocaine in his pocket valued at up to £400.
Text messages on his phone were indicative of supply, prosecutor Emmalyne Downing told Mold Crown Court.
Judge Niclas Parry told Keenan, 32, of Alexandra Road,Wrexham, the prosecution accepted what he was doing was foolishly acting as the go-between on behalf of a group of friends to buy cocaine in bulk to make savings. It was not for any commercial gain.
“This is to be sentenced as a technical supply,” he said, adding it was a case of joint purchase for no profit.
Judge Parry told him he should understand that the starting point in such circumstances was 18 months’ imprisonment but he would receive the maximum credit for his early guilty plea and he was testing negative for all substances.
Exceptionally, he would receive a 14-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. He would be helped in his rehabilitation by a fresh supervision order and a low level drug programme.
“You must be punished as well,” he said, and he placed him on a three-month tagged curfew to remain indoors between 6.30pm and 6am.
Keenan was fined £100 for failing to attend court earlier in the day – he slept late – with £90 prosecution costs.
The court was told Keenan attracted the attention of officers outside Lloyds Bar and Molly was sent in to scan him. The dog indicated he had drugs and two plastic packages were recovered from his jacket pocket.
He was arrested and when a fuller search was carried out 10 further bags and £90 in cash were seized.
Interviewed, he said he clubbed together with friends to buy the drug and was arrested before he could have it over.
Mark Connor, defending, said: “This was not a full-on, commercial enterprise.”
It was a man with mental health issues who agreed to buy the drugs for a group of friends who clubbed together.
He was suffering following the breakdown of a relationship and other issues but he was taking advantage of a previous supervision order and was progressing well.