An Orpington man has been jailed for growing cannabis following a police operation sparked when a woman died from a cocaine overdose.
Gareth Morgan, 34, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for his role in growing cannabis in a garage in Sevenoaks.
Formerly of Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, Morgan tried to claim sole responsibility for growing the drugs at his cousin Stevie Murphy’s address.
He claimed Murphy, 34, was unaware of the operation and had simply given him permission to store clothes and other items there.
Following his arrest Murphy insisted to police he had no knowledge of the illicit activity in his garage.
But his fingerprints were detected on a book in his house called The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana.
Ambulance crews and police had been called to Murphy’s home in London Road, Badgers Mount, on November 17, 2012, following reports his partner had become seriously ill after using cocaine.
Stacey McGuire, 37, later died in hospital of multiple organ failure as a result of cocaine intoxication.
Murphy was then arrested after police searched the property and uncovered 45 cannabis plants in a garage as well as substantial quantities of cash.
Checks of his bank and credit card accounts showed receipts of more than £126,000 during 2012, which he was unable to attribute to a legitimate source of income.
At Maidstone Crown Court on May 1 Murphy was sentenced to 21 months in prison for cannabis production and a further nine months for disguising £126,000 of criminal property, deriving from tax evasion and money laundering.
A concurrent sentence of six months was also given for the possession of criminal property, namely £5,000 in cash.
Both Murphy and Morgan admitted the offences, as did co-defendant David Williams, 44, who was jailed for a total of 30 months for possession with intent to supply 83 grams of cocaine.
Williams will serve a further six months concurrently for producing two cannabis plants and for possession of £1,600 in cash deriving from the sale of cocaine.
Detective Constable Alastair Morgan of Kent Police said: “It remains a tragedy that the criminal activities of these three men were eventually uncovered through the death of a young woman.
“None of these men have been directly implicated in the death of Stacey McGuire but they will all now have to also live with the devastating and lethal consequences of what can happen to someone who uses cocaine.”
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