Drug dealing duo jailed after police raid uncovers supply operation

Two drug dealers have been jailed after police carried out a raid at their home and discovered a supplying operation involving thousands of pounds worth of evidence.

JAILED: James Burton (left) and Luke Nikon.
JAILED: James Burton (left) and Luke Nikon.

Derby Crown Court heard on Monday, January 30, how James Burton, 32, of Poppyfields, Marehay, Ripley, was arrested for supplying class A drug cocaine and his house mate Luke Nixon, 29, was arrested for supplying class B drug M-Cat.

Prosecuting barrister Sonal Ahya said: “A search took place at Poppyfields and Burton was present at the house he rented privately and was sub-letting to Nixon.”

Miss Ahya added that police recovered more than seven grammes worth of cocaine, £949 in cash and scales relating to Burton and his phone and other evidence of drug dealing was established including a dealer’s list on his laptop with cash amounts listed between £80 and £1,000.

The hearing took place at Derby Crown Court.

A phone revealed conversations between Burton and the phone’s owner about sourcing and passing on customers to the defendant and vice versa, according to Miss Ahya.

Miss Ahya added: “There are references in the case to significant amounts of money and Burton was not making tens of thousands of pounds but he was making a decent living which funded a decent lifestyle.”

Burton pleaded guilty to supplying drugs between September, 2013, and February, 2016, after the raid in February, last year.

Felicity Campbell, defending, said: “He wants to be able to return to his job and move forward from this period of his life which he badly regrets. He has dealt with his own cocaine use and hopes to be released from prison and lead a productive life.”

The hearing took place at Derby Crown Court.

Miss Ahya revealed how police also found just over 193 grammes of mephedrone, or M-Cat, after the raid in relation to Luke Nixon, now of Addison Villas, Eastwood, Nottingham, with a street value of about £2,000.

A laptop was recovered with messages that indicated that this defendant was dealing drugs and in relation to his case 300 grammes of cutting agent was recovered, dealer bags, £820 of cash and a dealer list.

Nixon pleaded guilty to supplying the class B drug between April, 2014, and February, 2016.

He had claimed to be dealing on a social basis among people he knew and not on a wider commercial basis but Judge Robert Egbuna dismissed this claim.

Defence barrister Guy Williamson said Nixon had once worked for Network Rail but his life took a downward spiral and he became depressed and was laid-off and started taking M-Cat and became involved in the sale of the drug to others.

Mr Williamson said: “He’s extremely sorry and ashamed of what he’s done and very much regrets being involved in this during this time.

“He’s weaned himself off drugs and he is no longer addicted to drugs and he’s been lawfully employed.”

Judge Robert Egbuna sentenced Burton to a 56-month custodial sentence.

He told Burton: “You knew that if you became involved in dealing and if you appear before the court and if you are caught you will go to prison.”

Judge Egbuna sentenced Nixon to 28 months of custody. He told Nixon: “I am satisfied you were dealing for a significant period of time and for commercial gain.”