A man who claimed he began selling cannabis because he was struggling financially had more than £3,700 in cash at his village home and on him when he was arrested.
Rosoclelio Saieva, 44, of Sitwell Avenue, Long Itchington, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to possessing a total of 263 grams of cannabis with intent to supply it.
Prosecutor Shane Crawford said that when the police raided his home in August they carried out a search and found nine ‘deal bags’ with cannabis worth £960 in them.
They also discovered more cannabis in a tin, a further 43 unused deal bags, a set of electronic scales, a reflective Mylar growing tent and £3,385 in cash.
Saieva was not at home at the time, but while they were there the police had information that he had been seen out in his car.
He was stopped and arrested, and on him he had another £440 in cash and two ‘dealer lists’ of names and figures.
When he was questioned, Saieva explained that he had been unemployed for nine months, and had been struggling financially, added Mr Crawford,.
Andrew Tucker, defending, said Saieva had been sent to the crown court by the magistrates to enable a Proceeds of Crime Act order to be made, which can only be done in the crown court.
He said there will have to be a further hearing before a confiscation order can be made because Saieva maintains the money had not come from drug-dealing but had been saved “as a result of legitimate employment” and the sale of a car.
And he suggested the judge’s sentencing powers were limited to those of the magistrates – a maximum of six months.
But Recorder Malcolm Morse pointed out that when they committed the case to the crown court, the magistrates had not indicated whether it was for a greater sentence than they could pass.
So he remitted the case to the magistrates court for it to be committed to the crown court again with an indication of whether it was intended the sentence should be limited to the magistrates’ powers, and Saieva was granted bail.