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Home Maidstone News Article
A drug dealer who was arrested with more than 100 grams of cocaine has been jailed for three years.
Johnathon Tree, 27, told police he had been forced into carrying the drugs by two men whose car had broken down after he was stopped by police.
Tree, formerly of South Road, Marden, was arrested on August 22, 2012 after officers smelled cannabis coming from his car.
He had been parked in Westerhill Road, Coxheath and when searched was found to have a quantity of cannabis and a grinder with him.
Police then discovered a plastic tub with cocaine in it in one of his jacket pockets, along with a bag with three balls of white powder in, which was also later confirmed as cocaine.
A set of electric scales and a small wrap of the illegal substance were also recovered.
During interview, Tree admitted the wrap of cocaine was his and conceded that the tub, which contained 22g of cocaine, belonged to him, claiming he bought the drugs for other people.
Tree denied, however, that the three separate balls of cocaine - which weighed 80g - and a set of scales were his.
He told police that on the same day, he had been driving past Marden Cemetery when he noticed a car which appeared to have broken down.
He said he stopped to help and was asked for his telephone number by one of two men who said "you’re going to do this for me."
He then told officers that the three balls of cocaine, and the scales, were forced into his pockets by the man who said he would return for them.
He later pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cocaine with intent to supply and was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday, July 9.
He also admitted two further counts of possessing cannabis with intent to supply, after 306g of cannabis were found in carrier bags at his home. He was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday, July 10.
DC Gemma Kent said: "Tree invented lies about being forced to carry cocaine for someone else, when all the drugs which we seized were his.
"He was in possession of a large quantity of cocaine and was clearly operating with the intention of supplying drugs to make substantial gains.
"I’m pleased with the sentence, which sends a clear message to dealers that they will be dealt with robustly and effectively by Kent Police and the courts."
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