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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Wesley Holmes & Ellie Kemp

War veteran caught flushing drugs down toilet after cops follow scent of weed to his house

A war veteran was caught drug dealing AGAIN after police got a whiff of weed and 'literally used their noses' to get to his house.

Michael Kelly, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, was given a second chance after previously being convicted of drug dealing in Liverpool. But he was rumbled when patrolling officers found him flushing drugs down the toilet of his home on Stanley Road, Bootle on November 16, 2022.

The 36-year-old appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday May 24, where he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply class A and B drugs, reports the ECHO. Prosecutor Derek Jones said: "Officers on patrol on Stanley Road could smell the strong smell of cannabis, and they literally used their noses and followed the scent, and traced it to the defendant's flat.

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"They knocked on the door; the defendant didn't answer. An officer went to the back of the flat, looked through the bedroom window to see the defendant trying to dispose of plastic bags down the toilet."

Police forced entry to the flat and found evidence of a huge illegal drugs operation, with scales, packing equipment, plastic bags, cash, and large amounts of drugs. 312g of cocaine with a value of between £11,700 and £28,000 was discovered, and 619g of cannabis with a street value of between £4,000 and £8,000.

Mr Jones said it appeared Kelly had been using his property as a warehouse for drug dealers in exchange for cash, and that "there were clearly others involved" in the operation. Philip Clemo, defending, said: "This is a sad tale of a man who has served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq, suffered with trauma as a result of that, and is now on a waiting list for counselling services to assist him. "

He said Kelly had made efforts to turn his life around after being given a rare suspended sentence for dealing class A drugs in 2019, but had found himself in financial trouble after his convenience shop failed.

He said: "His premises were beign used as a base for others to use. He was effectively a minder for the stock. Mixing and bagging was allowed to take place as well, and of course he was expecting some sort of financial advantage."

Sentencing Kelly, Judge David Hale said: "You have served your country in Afghanistan, and you have come back, and this is the second time you have been caught for involvement in dealing cocaine, that corrosive substance that causes immense problems.

"You can't live in Liverpool without seeing the problems these drugs cause. And yet for the second time you have become involved. The first time you received an extremely lenient sentence. Very few people charged with possession with intent to supply cocaine walk free from court. But you did. But here you are back in the world of cocaine, because your business wasn't working properly, you had debts, and you couldn't resist going back into it."

He sentenced Kelly to 40 months in prison for possession with intent to supply class A, and 16 months for possession with intent to supply class B, to run concurrently.

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