Man who stamped his own name into drugs is jailed - after failing to smuggle holdall of cannabis into prison

A man who stamped his own name into drugs and handed himself in to police while possessing cannabis has been jailed.

Stephen Best, 30, from Sompting. Picture: Sussex Police

According to Sussex Police, Stephen Best appeared at Brighton Crown Court on Monday, June 3, following an earlier guilty plea to possession of cannabis and four counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine, MDMA, cannabis and cannabis resin.

Police said he was given a 42 month prison sentence for his crimes, which included storing drugs in lockups in Worthing and a yacht in Brighton with the name 'Besti' stamped into some of the drugs.

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Investigating officer Detective Constable Noel Simmonds said: “The investigation was unique for several reasons.

Stephen Best, 30, from Sompting. Picture: Sussex Police

"The quantity of drugs was considerable and while it is not unusual for drug dealers to set up brands of drugs, I've never seen someone stamp their own name into them.

“It's quite rare as well for someone to arrange the date, time and location of their arrest and still turn up in possession of illegal drugs.

What happened?

According to Sussex Police, the force was alerted by Trading Standards, who were conducting a search of storage lockups in Willowbrook Road, Worthing on November 13, to a substantial amount of drugs discovered.

Picture: Sussex Police

While officers were at the scene Best arrived in his car but quickly drove away, speeding through a red light in the process, police said.

Best, who police said lived in Abbotts View in Sompting, was identified as renting the storage unit and the Prevention Enforcement team discovered he owned a yacht at Brighton Marina, police said.

Both the storage unit and boat were search by officers and a quantity of cannabis resin, cocaine and crystal MDMA were seized. On closer inspection, the name “Besti” was found imprinted on a number of cannabis resin bars, according to police.

Best, 30, handed himself into police on November 27 and brought with him a bag which he claimed he had packed in case he was remanded in custody. Officers searched the bag and found a large quantity of herbal cannabis inside. He was remanded in custody, police said.

A holdall and bin bags of cannabis

A 'strong warning' to those 'dealing misery on our streets'

Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “Our sniffer dog operation led to this discovery of drugs and I am pleased that by working in partnership with Sussex Police, this individual was brought to justice.”

DC Simmonds added: "As well as the physical and mental harm caused by illegal drugs, they are a contributing factor to violent crime and Sussex Police will continue to target those trading in them as part of our strategy to make Sussex safer for everyone.

"We hope this sends out a strong warning to those that would deal misery on our streets, and it encourages people in our communities to step forward and talk to the police.”

Picture: Sussex Police
One of the lockups that was searched. Picture: Sussex Police
Picture: Sussex Police