Three dealers in court after CCTV operators directed cops to haul of cash and drugs in Mercedes car
A mum was caught with 23 wraps of cocaine in her underwear when police responded to a report of "suspicious activity" in a white Mercedes car.
Council CCTV operators directed officers to the parked up vehicle in the early evening and a haul of cash and drugs were seized as a result.
Newcastle Crown Court heard when police approached the Mercedes, at Galsworthy Road, South Shields, on July 6 2019, there was an instant small of cannabis.
Shaun Taylor, who was in the driving seat, told officers he had "just smoked a joint".
When police searched the vehicle they found cannabis worth up to £70, cocaine worth up to £990, over £200 cash, dealers lists and the keys to a Vauxhall Insignia which was parked behind.
The court heard the Insignia contained amphetamine worth up to £100 as well as scales and another dealers list, as well as the finger prints of Lee Coleman, who was in the passenger seat of the Mercedes.
Prosecutor Susannah Proctor told the court backseat passenger Jade Gallagher was also searched and added: "She produced a bag from her underwear that contained 23 wraps of cocaine."
Taylor, 37, of Claypit Close, South Shields, admitted possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply and has been jailed for 27 months.
The court heard Taylor had got involved in dealing to pay off his own debt and was the "runner and risker" but has been in employment and is a hard worker.
Mr Recorder David Brooke QC told him: "Class A drugs are Class A drugs I'm afraid.
"Having got involved in this way, even to pay your own debt off, doesn't allow me to draw back from immediate custody."
Christopher Knox, defending, said Taylor was "being pressured" into dealing to pay off debts and was not trying to make profit for himself.
Coleman, 38, of Drake Close, South Shields, admitted possessing amphetamine with intent to supply and was given nine months, suspended for six months, with a six-month 7pm to 7am curfew.
Adam Birkby, defending, said over the last two years since the offences Coleman has "made significant changes" in his life.
Mr Birkby said the offending happened at a "low point" for Coleman but he has made positive progress.
Gallagher, 29, of South Shields, admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply and was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work.
The judge told her: "Your basis of plea is you were given a plastic bag containing cocaine by another defendant and asked to hide it.
"You hid it in your underwear and it was found by the police.
"Your intention was to return it after the police had left."
The judge said Gallagher, who has no previous convictions, "must have known" there was dealing going on in the car.
Tony Cornberg, defending Gallagher's offending lasted "second, perhaps minutes" and added: "Those drugs weren't going to leave the car. She was going to give them back to someone who dropped them on her lap, almost literally, fearing a search."
Mr Cornberg said Gallagher has been in employment and gained qualifications and is "not like that normally".