Leeds Festival dealers caught with more than £30k worth of drugs in their tent at Bramham Park
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Joshua Hague, 20, and 18-year-old Wade Taylor were arrested at Bramham Park in August and never went home, being held in prison since they were detained. The two men are the last of an initial batch of six suspects who were caught at the music festival.
On Thursday, August 24, they were seen among a large group within the campsite and attempted to run off when approached by security and police.
They were detained nearby and found in possession of controlled drugs. Cash was also recovered, and further drugs were found in their tents. The value of the drugs recovered from them was estimated at £32,270, based on the increased street value of drugs at the festival.
Hague, of Parkview, Worsbrough, Barnsley, had pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine and MDMA.
Taylor, of High Street, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to three counts of possession with intent to supply cocaine, MDMA and ketamine, and possession of criminal property in relation to recovered cash.
Both were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today, each jailed for 45 months in a young offenders institution.
Their imprisonment today follows two recent sentencings which have seen four other drug dealers jailed after being caught at Leeds Festival this year.
On October 27, Corin Armitage, of New Street, Great Houghton, Barnsley, and Cody Harper, aged 18, of William Street, Barnsley, were jailed at Leeds Crown Court after being caught with large amounts of cocaine, MDMA and ketamine at the festival site on August 23. The drugs had an estimated street value of £8,910.
Armitage was sentenced to three years and Harper to 30 months after each admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, one count of possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply and an offence of possession of criminal property in relation to cash recovered from them.
On October 18, Daniel Matthews and Robert Kurzweil were sentenced for drug dealing offences at the festival site on August 25. Kurzweil, aged 27, of Selby Drive, Manchester, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and Matthews, aged 29, of Frodsham Road, Manchester, was jailed for 32 months.
Both admitted two counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.
They had been caught with large quantities of cocaine, MDMA and 2,000 cannisters of nitrous oxide, as well as thousands of pounds in cash. The drugs had an estimated street value of between £18,820 and £28,820.
A total of 56 people were arrested on suspicion of drugs supply offences at this year’s event, with the majority still on bail or released under investigation as enquiries continue.
The drugs operation was led by specialist detectives from Leeds District’s Programme Precision team, which targets serious and organised crime, and saw plain-clothes officer utilising a range of tactics.
Superintendent Dan Wood, who led the policing operation for Leeds Festival, said: “The significant prison sentences that these offenders have now received should send a very clear message to anyone who thinks they can target this event to profit from the criminal trade in dangerous illegal substances.
“These seven arrived at the festival site in August to cynically make money from selling drugs, but they never went home again and are now starting lengthy periods in prison.
“We have very sadly seen the tragic consequences that can result from young people taking drugs, and this year we had an increased focus on drugs offences, working closely alongside Festival Republic to support their safety and security operation at the festival site.
“We anticipate further charges and lengthy prison sentences will result from the ongoing investigations into others who were arrested.
“We will be continuing to work with Festival Republic next year to support their safety operation, with a particular focus on drugs offences, and we hope these latest convictions from this year’s operation will help to serve as a very strong deterrent.”