A former Harrogate businessman has been jailed after police found drugs worth more than £25,000 along with a ten-tonne hydraulic press when they raided a flat in Leeds.
Clinton Blakey, 29, was jailed for eight years after a court heard how a specialist drugs officer described the discovery at the property in Leeds as they most sophisticated criminal set up he had ever seen.
Blakey, of Sandringham Drive, Moortown used to be a director of Dynamic Promotions Ltd based on Station Parade in Harrogate.
Investigation of Blakey’s bank accounts revealed he had deposited £46,000 over the course of ten months without having a recognised income and on one occasion he placed £34,000 into a gold account.
Officers executed a search warrant at a basement flat on Broughton Terrace on October 4 2013 and found boxes of cocaine, amphetamine, cannabis and other Class C drugs.
Bags of powder, including benzocaine, used as a mixing agent for the drugs were also found along with £3, 315 in cash. A ten-tonne hydraulic press used to package the drugs for sale was also found in the property.
The flat, owned by Blakey’s father, appeared not to be lived in. Officers found an operating manual for the press in a bin and it had one of Blakey’s fingerprints on it.
Blakey, of Sandringham Drive, Moortown, pleaded guilty to production of cocaine and possession of cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis with intent to supply.
Blakey appeared in the dock of Leeds Crown Court with his leg in a brace and needed the use of crutches.
His barrister, Jon Gregg, said his injuries were as a result of a recent attack.
He said: “It shows the nefarious nature of the enterprise he has been engaged in.”
Mr Gregg said Blakey had used drugs for many years and became involved with more sophisticated criminals higher up the chain who had supplied him.
The barrister said Blakey accepted he would be facing a lengthy prison sentence. He added: “Clearly his involvement was significant. But those who play a leading role rarely get their own hands dirty.
Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “Those who are involved in the production and supply of class A drugs commit very serious offences. It is a vile and wicked trade that brings misery to those who are addicted it.”
Blakey will now face confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act expected to be held later this year.