Chesterfield dealer caught at McDonalds sent “bulk messages” to customers

A Chesterfield drug dealer caught with sealed bags of cannabis at McDonald’s sent “bulk messages” to customers advertising his product and prices, a court heard.

Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:22 pm

James Turner’s phone showed 16,000 messages relating to drug dealing during a police investigation after he was pulled over and searched.

Turner, 24, was stopped at Alma Leisure Park where police searched his car - also uncovering £245 cash, Derby Crown Court heard.

Lauren Fisher, prosecuting, said later on March 15 last year officers found “a large amount of items related to the production of cannabis” as well as a further £1,465 in cash.

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Turner was snared by police at McDonald's in Chesterfield

She said: “Mr Turner’s phone was examined and a large number of texts were found related to the supply of cannabis and referred to a dealer list in relation to people who owed him money.

“An examination of the texts concluded he was dealing up to one-ounce deals to others for financial gain.

“They would send out bulk messages to their customer base showing what they had to sell and prices.”

The court heard the defendant was dealing over a ten-week period between December 2020 and March 2021.

During a police interview Turner, who had no previous convictions, denied that he was dealing, saying the drugs were for his own personal use.

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His barrister Steven Gosnell said Turner had taken “full responsibility”, admitting possession of cannabis and criminal property.

He said: “He was a cannabis user himself and started supplying friends, then the group widened to associates.

“It was a ten-week period that he was supplying cannabis - not the greatest period of time and he has shown he is remorseful for what he has done.

“He says this has been an awful mistake - he is petrified of incarceration and this case has been a real alarm for him.”

Mr Gosnell said Turner, who now worked as a plumber, had a supportive family and wanted to move on with his life.

Recorder Richard Davis said it was clear Turner was dealing cannabis on “some scale for some time”.

However he added that in view of his age at the time of his crimes, his current employment and lack of previous convictions there was a “realistic prospect” of rehabilitation.

Turner, of Queen Street, Chesterfield, was jailed for eight months suspended for 18 months.

He was handed 20 rehabilitation activity days and a three-month curfew.

The defendant will also face a proceeds of crime hearing in the months to come.

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