Jail for Tewkesbury drug dealer who stashed M-Cat in mum's loft
A DRUG dealer who stashed £15,000 of M-Cat in his mum's loft has been jailed for 19 months.
Martin O'Regan said he was intimidated into holding the one kilo haul by a "big-time" dealer he was in debt to, who threatened to hurt his family and steal his property.
The 24-year-old from Tewkesbury was charged following raids on his mum's home in Belfry Drive in Priors Park, and his former house in Crouch Court on November 12, last year.
In total, 1,114.48 grams of mephedrone, known as M-Cat, and 34 ecstasy tablets were recovered in a haul police believe to be worth between £16,785 and £27,964.
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He admitted possession with intent to supply mephedrone, possession with intent to supply MDMA and offering to supply mephedrone.
O'Regan claimed £450 in cash found at his premises was from two big wins on gambling machines in a bookies, which Recorder Michael de Navarro QC described as "eyewash".
He told Gloucester Crown Court: "It seems to me there was a big dealer and there was a debt and some degree of leverage, but he has clearly been selling drugs at a street level."
O'Regan told the court he had split from his partner and lost his house two years ago when he began taking drugs with friends.
He said soon he was taking drugs every day and had lost his job.
He told the court: "I was living off my friends and family. I ended up having debt with a big-time drug dealer and he started threatening me and my family.
"He said if I started holding large amounts of drugs for him I would reduce the debt.
"It was a no-win situation for me. I had drugs available and there all the time. I was taking them all the time and I wasn't in the right mindset. I gained absolutely nothing. All the money went back to him."
Asked why he didn't tell police this initially on arrest, O'Regan said: "I knew from the amount that I was in big trouble. I was scared. I didn't know what to say. I thought if I mentioned his name and the intimidation, that would be questioned and I didn't want anything to happen."
Sergeant Chris Barnes, from the Operation Tudor crime team, said: "This operation and the subsequent investigation was only possible due to the information that came from the community."
O'Regan's family admitted they had been "shocked" at finding out about his misdemeanours but vowed that he would turn his back on crime in future.
His mum Tracie O'Regan, 43, said: "He knows he has made a big mistake but he is a good boy at heart. He has so many friends around here and they would testify to that.
"It has been difficult for him but he will serve his time and learn from this. When he gets out he will bounce back strongly and rebuild his life."