A man concerned in the supply of cocaine has been jailed after key evidence relating to the drug offence was found on his mobile phone.
Glen Hodgins, 32, a carpenter, of Ashdown Close, St Leonards, was stopped by officers on February 16, 2018, on the A21 at Flimwell.
He told officers he had been shopping at Bluewater and was now on his way home to Hastings.
However, officers noticed a slight smell of cannabis coming from within the vehicle and a search was carried out. A plastic laundry bag was found in the boot containing three large plastic vacuums bags, each filled with herbal cannabis. In total, 3kg of cannabis was found, according to police.
Officers arrested Hodgins and continued their investigations, seizing a black iPhone from the driver’s door pocket of the vehicle and a Samsung mobile phone from his home address, where £1,600 in cash was also found, police said.
Examinations were conducted on the phones and extensive messaging relating to the distribution and sale of cocaine was found, a police spokesman added.
Police said it was on this evidence that Hodgins was found guilty of being concerned in the supply of cocaine – despite no Class A drugs being found in his vehicle. He was convicted at Brighton Crown Court on Tuesday, January 14, following a three-day trial.
Hodgins was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug (cocaine), police confirmed.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B drug (cannabis) and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, to run concurrently, for possessing criminal property – namely £1,600 cash, police added.
Chief Inspector Sarah Godley, district commander for Hastings and Rother, said: “This lengthy sentence positively reflects the individual’s involvement in drug dealing and the funds he obtained.
“It also shows that a person does not necessarily need to be in possession of a substance to be convicted – in this case, cocaine – and that evidence found on devices like mobile phones can be sufficient.
“I commend the officers for all their hard work in this investigation, and for bringing an offender to justice. We will continue to target drug dealers as part of our efforts to make our communities a safer place for all.”