Tuesday 19 February 2013
Dean Hardy, a 32 year old unemployed local man, appeared before the Royal Court where he was sentenced to 6 years and 6 months imprisonment for the importation of 99.95 grams of Synthetic Cannabinoid powder, through the postal system. This amount of drug had a potential local resale value of between £43,000 and £53,000.
On Friday 17 June 2011 a package from China was opened at Guernsey Post Office and found to contain a sealed foil packet marked as Optical Brightening Agent. This powder, was analysed and found to be the Class B Drug, (4-methyl-1-napthyl)-(1-pentylindole-3-yl) methanone, more commonly known as, JWH-122.
On the morning of Wednesday 10 August 2011 a search warrant was executed at the location where the package was addressed to and Hardy was subsequently arrested by Officers of the Guernsey Border Agency (GBA), assisted by Police colleagues.
In interview, Hardy admitted that he had ordered a package from China but denied knowledge of the illicit nature of its content. Hardy stated that he had ordered Bonsai plant fertilizer and maintained this defence throughout his trial. Following the appearance of numerous witnesses, including the Officers involved in the case and three Forensic Scientists, the Court found Hardy guilty of being knowingly concerned in the importation of a controlled drug.
In sentencing Judge Finch remarked that only the acumen of the Guernsey Border Agency had prevented these drugs being delivered to the Island. He also pointed out that Hardy had made it very hard for the Court to find any discount to his sentence as there was very little in the way of mitigating circumstances and a previous conviction for cultivating Cannabis made by the Court in 2006 was noted.
Rebecca Falla, a Senior Investigation Officer with the GBA, said that a commercial amount of illegal drugs had been prevented from reaching the streets of Guernsey. She stated that new synthetic drugs were being made all the time but that Guernsey Law Enforcement authorities were working hard to remain one step ahead of those who sought to import and distribute these dangerous substances.
She reminded the public that should they have suspicions in relation to smuggling or drug related criminality they can speak anonymously to a trained local Officer by calling the GBA's Confidential Drug Freephone number 0800 318 318.