A leading Pembrokeshire cannabis dealer, described in court as being ‘high up the drugs chain’ blatantly disregarded an on-going police investigation and continued supplying the drug in four figure quantities.
Daryl Stephens was originally stopped by police on July 23, 2022, as he drove his Ford transit van through the centre of Ammanford.
Smelling cannabis, a search of the vehicle was carried out which revealed a plastic container containing what counsel for the Crown Hannah George, KC, described as ‘everything required to supply cannabis’. This included a cannabis grinder, a digital set of weighing scales and multiple snap bags.
Officers also discovered 75g of cannabis which had a street value of approximately £830, and £865 in cash that was found inside his wallet.
Two mobile phones were also discovered in the van, one of which was found to contain messages in relation to drug dealing. One message read ‘Can you drop it off?’
Accompanying Stephens in the Ford transit van were three passengers, one of whom was a 16-year-old girl. Searches were carried out on all three passengers, but no drugs were found in their possession.
Stephens was arrested on suspicion of supplying cannabis and taken to Ammanford for questioning. He was subsequently released as officers continued their investigations.
Two months later, on September 26, he was stopped driving another vehicle – this time an MG 4×4 – in the Haverfordwest area.
A roadside drugs wipe was carried out on the defendant which proved positive, and the vehicle was once again searched by officers.
“In a compartment near the steering wheel were two snap bags containing cocaine,” said Hannah George.
“One contained 0.15g and had a purity of 58% while the other contained 1.08g and had a higher purity of 67%.”
In addition to the cocaine, officers found a total of 253 grams of cannabis stored in an empty protein tub with a street value of up to £2,810, and an additional nine grams that were found in two separate locations inside the vehicle.
Messages and voice notes were downloaded from Stephens’ mobile phone which showed that he had been involved in supplying cannabis throughout the two months of the police investigation.
“He was dealing in large quantities,” continued Hannah George.
“One customer had paid £1,110 for cannabis and there were references to nine ounce deals being sold. He also told customers that he was only dealing in larger quantities, rather than with individual deals at street level. The defendant was high up in the supply chain.”
Daryl Stephens, of Keats Grove, Haverfordwest, was represented in court by defence counsel James Hartsen, KC who said that his client had suffered ‘a medical impact on his mental health’ after the breakdown of his marriage in the middle of 2022.
The father of three pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and of possessing Class A cocaine.
He was sentenced to a total of 22 months in custody.
“You were a significant supplier of cannabis,” said Judge Huw Jones whilst passing sentence. “This drug is not to be under-estimated.
“I hope that you spend your time in prison learning that any involvement in the supply of cannabis must end.”