Paignton’s drug dealer kept cocaine stash under bed



A man from Paignton has been jailed after being caught twice trafficking cocaine.

Craig Purcell, 32, was first arrested with thousands of pounds of crack ready to be sold on the local streets.

He was released under investigation but was again caught with 28g of drugs under his bed, the Exeter court said.

Purcell, of Dartmouth Road, was jailed for four and a half years after admitting to four offenses.

Prosecutor Ms Heather Hope said police arrested Purcell and another man, Michael Rooney, after they were seen leaving an apartment in the city in March 2018.

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Inside the property, they found cell phones, scales and plastic wrappers used to pack medicines.

The drugs seized included between 50g and 60g of crack worth £ 5,500, some of which was in a Lacoste sports bag. Police carried out further searches of property related to Purcell in April and June of the same year. He has been told of messages on the phones linking him to the drug supply.

He was arrested again in October at a holiday park in Dawlish. A trailer was searched and police found cannabis and scales. Finally, in August 2019, he was detained at an address in Paignton.

Under the bed, officers found 28g of high purity cocaine with a market value of £ 2,700.

“He has denied ever seeing a bag of cocaine under the bed before,” Hope said.

The accused was previously convicted of robbery and possession of cannabis.

Rooney, 30, admitted to being concerned with providing Class A drugs on the grounds that his role was limited to putting money in the bank.

Mr Lee Bremridge, defending Rooney, said he had since given up that life and moved to Dorset.

He was sentenced to 14 months suspended prison sentence and 160 hours of unpaid work.

Mr David Sapiecha, defending Purcell, said he had never been convicted of supplying drugs against his name and that there were positive signs that he could change his ways in the future.

The accused pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to supply, one of possession of cannabis and the other of non-delivery.

Judge Timothy Rose told Purcell: “For some reason you have become seriously involved in the supply of Class A drugs. I am not saying that you are a drug lord or Mr. Big, but obviously a person of Trust any organization to get these highly destructive drugs. Class A drugs on the streets of Paington and the surrounding area. And you’ve done it twice. “

He said Purcell did not change his behavior after his arrest in October.

“You would have thought it would make you think twice and make sure you didn’t dig any deeper, but 10 months later you were arrested again.”

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