A “HIGH level” north Cumbria drug dealer caught with cocaine potentially worth almost £110,000 along with a stash of weapons, cash, high value cars and luxury Rolex watches has been jailed for six years.
Police initially executed a search warrant at Simon Pipes’ rented School Road home in Cumwhinton, near Carlisle, on January 9, in relation an unrelated matter. However, officers instead stumbled across a huge drugs haul, paraphernalia, drug manufacturing equipment, cash and weapons.
More than half a kilo of cocaine – some of high purity – was discovered in a kitchen drawer. Also found was a gas-powered imitation firearm manufactured to look like a 9mm handgun and capable of firing air rifle pellets; two knuckledusters; Rolex and Hugo Boss watches worth tens of thousands of pounds; and small quantities of ecstasy and cannabis.
Pipes, 29, had rented storage and industrial units within Carlisle. In one, police discovered a safe and bundles of cash totalling almost £60,000 along with tools, a cutting agent, metal press moulds and plates containing class A drug traces. In a second, officers found a Porsche Cayenne registered to Pipes, along with an Audi Q3 and white Ford Transit van.
“The Crown say the defendant was breaking down and adulterating high purity cocaine to sell on at heavy profit,” prosecutor Sarah Magill told Carlisle Crown Court as Pipes was sentenced today (WED). The weapons seized, Ms Magill stated, were “indicative of someone functioning as a high level cocaine dealer”.
Damning drug-dealing messages from two people wishing to buy large amounts of cocaine were also found on a seized mobile phone.
Pipes admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply, and possessing criminal property – the cash and assets said to total more than £100,000.
Pipes had become addicted to cocaine, fallen into debt and told the court of his offending: “I’m very sorry.”
Kim Whittlestone, defending, stated in mitigation there were others above Pipes in the criminal hierarchy, saying: “The point that he would seek to make is that he was not to be the beneficiary of all of the amounts of monies that were raised by sales of these drugs.”
Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Barker said: “But you were clearly directing and organising others below you. You are clearly selling at a significant scale. You expected substantial financial gain and I find that you received it.”
Detective Inspector Vicki Coombes said: “The sentence handed down today should send a clear message to those who think they can flood our communities with illegal drugs.
“We work closely with our local communities and partner agencies to target and dismantle drug supply operations.
“Pipes has rightly been brought to justice for his crimes. We will continue to target such criminals in order to minimise the knock-on effect that drug supply has on our communities.
“Members of the public can help us by reporting any suspicious activity to our officers.”