Cocaine, MDMA, cannabis and ketamine worth £145,000 found at home of Leeds man after police raids

A "lonely" and "troubled" man who became involved in dealing class A and B drugs has been jailed this week.

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 5:07 pm

Michael Snowden, 37, from Roundhay Road, had pleaded guilty to supplying class A and B drugs following two raids from police, who found £145,000 worth of drugs including cocaine, MDMA and ketamine.

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A younger defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons as he was under 18 when the crimes took place, was also sentenced to 30 months in a young offender's institute after being found in possession of drugs on two separate occasions.

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Michael Snowden was sentenced to more than three years in jail.

The court heard how the defendants were involved in an organised crime group "operating as ring of drug dealing in Leeds".

Police searches of Snowden's home in April 8, 2021 found up to £145,000 worth of class A and B drugs.

Prosecuting Snowden Abdul Latif Shakoor said: "Upon searching the flat, it became obvious that a drug dealing operation was taking place."

During the April 2021 search, the younger defendant was then seen walking past the house and using his phone. An officer who recognised him shouted over at him, before he ran away. He was soon caught and arrested.

The court was told that the younger defendant was expecting to have a drug debt paid off by working, and was paid £100 a day, although evidence suggested the majority of his involvement was selling cannabis rather than class As.

Mr Shakoor added: "Snowden's role is significant - he was living at the address at the time, therefore he must have seen those attending and must have been involved in bagging up the drugs.

"This was a sophisticated operation and the defendants were part of the team."

Mitigating for the younger defendant, who is now 19, his barrister said: "[His involvement] might have resulted in pressure placed on him by those who are older than him.

"I would say the pressure from his debts put him in a difficult position. He was being blackmailed for the debt."

Mitigating for Snowden, Jonathan James Turner said: "The defendant does have issues around abandonment. He was placed into care at a young age and was in and out due to his disruptive nature. He was also abandoned by the mother of his child that led him to try and commit suicide.

"He allowed drug dealers to stay in his home for the company - this is a terribly lonely man who finds it hard to integrate with others and make friends.

"When he realised what was going on, he left the property to stay with a new girlfriend. He was not actively involved towards the end."

Sentencing Snowden, Judge Rodney Jameson said: "The psychiatric report describes you as a troubled man. You are 37 years old and this is not the first time you have been before a court. There is a limit to the degree of sympathy that a court can give someone in their late 30s."

He sentenced Snowden to three years and three months imprisonment.

The younger defendant had pleases guilty to counts of possession with intent to supply drugs in both 2020 and 2021. Sentencing him, Judge Jameson said: "You were both a runner and an organiser. You supplied class A and B drugs, including £100,000 worth of class B. You were in a situation of your choosing but I accept you were not a leading light for it."