A COVENTRY man who ran a successful limousine business turned to drug-dealing to subsidise his own cocaine habit.
Mohammed Khan (26) of Beresford Avenue, Foleshill, Coventry, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing cocaine with intent to supply it.
Prosecutor Andrew Baker said that in June last year the police had a tip-off at around 10pm that drug dealing was taking place from a car parked at Foleshill Enterprise Park.
When officers stopped Khan’s Honda Civic 20 minutes later and told him he was going to be searched for drugs, he claimed he had nothing on him.
But as one of the officers reached out to take hold of him, Khan jumped out of the car and made off, discarding a number of small packages as he ran.
He was chased and caught, and the officers recovered six £40 deals of cocaine from the ground.
Khan had £100 in £20 notes on him, and in the car they found two grams of cannabis, which he admitted possessing for his own use.
Following his arrest, the police searched his home where they found a further 7.1 grams of cocaine worth £560, a set of digital scales, a number of small plastic bags and £310 in cash.
When he was interviewed, Khan admitted dropping the packages of cocaine as he ran from the police, but denied he had deliberately discarded them.
He claimed the cocaine in the house was all for his own use, although he said he would share some of it if asked, and he denied commercial dealing.
The court heard Khan had entered his plea on the basis that he was a heavy cocaine user, but although he was selling some to friends, the cash seized had not all come from dealing and some of it was from his work.
Mr Baker said: “We cannot accept that. We say it is fanciful in the extreme. It is commercial dealing for a profit, albeit on a small scale.”
He added that Khan had previous convictions for cannabis offences, but none involving class A drugs.
Daniel Oscroft, defending, said: “This young man works, and ran a successful limousine business.
“But he has become a heavy user of cocaine; and he did then start to sell cocaine, initially to subsidise his own use, but he was selling for profit.”
Mr Oscroft added that Khan, who maintains not all of the cash had come from drug sales, ‘wants to serve his sentence and come out and continue with his business.”
Jailing Khan, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “Plainly in my view you were out selling drugs.
“On any basis, you were a commercial dealer, even if you may have been dealing to friends and associates.”
A confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned until December to enable an investigation to take place into Khan’s finances.