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A Tunbridge Wells drug dealer has been jailed after more than 100 grams of cocaine and cash totalling thousands of pounds were seized from a town centre address.
The property was searched on 21 April 2022, after police had initially stopped a car being driven by Ben Freeman and discovered he had a wrap of cocaine concealed in one of his socks.
Freeman immediately confessed that drug supplies in far greater quantities were kept inside his home in Goods Station Road.
He told officers from the Tunbridge Wells Community Policing Team the drugs were inside a bag, which he claimed to be looking after for someone else.
A search warrant was executed at the property, where more than £7,000 in cash was recovered, along with 120 grams of cocaine.
During a police interview Freeman refused to account for evidence on his phone which included a tick list of customers.
He insisted almost £350 of the money seized from his home was linked to a partner’s cake baking hobby and added that another £475 he was carrying in a wallet was derived from selling cigarettes to work colleagues.
Freeman, 37, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply and with possessing criminal property (namely the cash seized).
On Thursday 23 February 2023, he was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to two years and four months in prison.
Sergeant Ed Kavanagh of the Tunbridge Wells Community Policing Team said: ‘Freeman was arrested as a result of some excellent policing by our local officers and ultimately this has prevented a significant amount of drugs from being distributed onto the streets. ‘Criminals like Freeman wrongly believe they can operate with impunity. We are showing time and time again that the reality is that drug dealers who try and operate in this town can expect a robust response and ultimately a prison sentence.’
Freeman will now also be subject to a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to assess and recover any criminal gains resulting from his offending.