A 25-YEAR-OLD man found with drugs, including LSD, and more than £22,000 in unexplained cash has been jailed for two years.
The Royal Court heard that Samuel Shea Davies had small quantities of LSD, dimethyltryptamine and gabapentin at his home, and a rucksack containing the money and scales. He also had another £487 in his sock.
Crown Advocate Sam Brown, prosecuting, told the court that on 9 May last year police had been called to an address in St Helier where an argument was going on, and Davies was demanding the return of a rucksack.
He was initially arrested for breach of the peace, but the rucksack was found to contain a set of scales bearing a powdery residue and £22,610.60 in cash. Police then searched his home and found pots containing the illegal drugs.
Davies was unemployed at the time, so of the money recovered, Advocate Brown said: ‘This was a large amount of cash. We don’t know where it came from but there was no legitimate reason for him to have it.
‘It must have been derived from criminal conduct of some sort.’
Davies admitted the charges of possession of criminal property and possession of drugs – but maintained that the money was not his, and that he had been looking after it for someone else.
Advocate Brown also pointed out that Davies had nine previous convictions for drug possession, driving offences and being drunk and disorderly, and was considered at high risk of reconviction. The Advocate called for a jail sentence of three years and six months.
Advocate Julia-Anne Dix, defending, argued for an 18-month probation order instead. She said: ‘Mr Davies’s position has always been that the money did not belong to him and he acted as its minder.’
She said he had ‘strongly suspected’ that the money came from crime, but added: ‘He didn’t know the source of the money. There was no active or sophisticated laundering of criminal proceeds.’
She conceded that he had a number of previous convictions, but pointed out that the last drugs offence was in 2015.
She said her client had been clear of drugs for some time but had suffered mental-health problems, which had led him to relapse into taking them again.
She said: ‘He made a foolish decision to look after money for somebody else.
‘This is a case where it is open to the court to take a different approach.’
However, Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith said: ‘This is too serious for the imposition of a non-custodial sentence.
‘We accept that he was holding this money. But even so, money laundering is serious in that it perpetuates crime and is essential for its function.’
Jurats Jane Ronge and Steven Austin-Vautier were sitting.
After the sentencing, Detective Constable Juliette Morris said: ‘We work hard to keep our streets free from drugs, and we’ll do our utmost to ensure those who deal in illegal drugs are put before the courts.’