A man who made more from his involvement in drug dealing than from his job as a self-employed builder is facing a long prison sentence.
Jason Killick had pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to supply cocaine, concealing £197,000 worth of criminal property and money laundering.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found Killick, 44, of The Paddocks, Warwick Road, Wolston, guilty of all three charges following a trial which had lasted just over two weeks.
Unknown to the jury, he had pleaded guilty to further charges of conspiring to supply cannabis grown at addresses in Rugby and Coventry and possessing more than 2 kilos of amphetamine with intent to supply it.
The case was adjourned for him and Brian Wright, who was cleared of conspiring to supply cocaine but found guilty of supplying cocaine and possessing the drug with intent to supply, to be sentenced with three other men at a later date.
Killick, who is facing a long prison sentence, was remanded in custody by Judge Peter Carr; but Wright, 47, of Galloway Mews, Rugby, was granted bail with a condition that he co-operates with the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Prosecutor Philip Bradley said that a man called John Logue, who has since been jailed, continued to play a leading role in a conspiracy to supply cocaine, even after being arrested and remanded in custody in November 2010.
The conspiracy involved the ordering and collection of cocaine from Oldham and Sheffield, and there were eight deliveries of the drug to be sold on the streets of Rugby.
Between Logue’s arrest and the end of April 2011 there was a great deal of phone contact between another conspirator, Russell Kirby, and Killick, mainly around the dates when consignments of cocaine were being collected.
Logue was also in touch with Killick from his prison cell, and Mr Brandley said: “The prosecution case is that that sequence of calls cannot be explained away by coincidence.”
When Killick was arrested, 2 kilos of amphetamine was found in two blocks in a large outbuilding at the home he shares with his long-term partner.
He said he was storing the larger block for a friend, and that the smaller block was for his own use, and he would mix it with an adulterant in a smoothie mixer before using it.
But the mixer contained traces not of amphetamine, but of cocaine and the adulterant benzocaine.
Officers found scales with traces of cocaine, metal pressing plates, which are used to emboss motifs on compressed powder, and a notebook which had a list of prices and what appeared to be trading weights of cocaine.
Although the jury was not told, in the outbuilding the police also found £6,000 worth of cannabis-growing equipment, including high-powered light bulbs, transformers and extractors.
Killick and another man, John Edgar, had earlier been seen removing bags from a house in Gunton Avenue, Coventry, and when it was raided the police found 55 cannabis plants capable of producing a yield worth £35,000.
In a flat over the Bloc night club in Coventry was evidence that it had also been used for growing cannabis; and although that operation had been closed down, Killick and Edgar had been observed removing equipment from the flat.
And the loft of a flat in a property owned by Killick in Railway Terrace, Rugby, had been turned into a cannabis factory where the police found 21 plants with an estimated yield worth £9,450 in street deals when they raided it in June 2012.
It had been alleged that Wright was also involved in the cocaine conspiracy and that he was ‘a trusted member of the team’ whose role was to supply the drug on the streets.
So he was under observation, and when officers stopped a man leaving his home at the time in Market Street, Rugby, in April 2012 he had a wrap of cocaine which Wright had supplied.
Wright was then arrested, and in his flat officers found a blender with traces of white powder in it, scales, a tin of small re-sealable bags and cocaine worth more than £1,000.
“The prosecution case is that it was not for personal use, but for selling on,” said Mr Bradley.
With the two men in the dock was Killick’s mother Susan Southern, 63, who was found not guilty of being involved in his money laundering activities.
Mr Bradley said Killick’s declared income as a self-employed builder/handyman was obtained from HMRC and amounted to £89,392 over a period from 2003 to 2012.
“During the period investigated, £286,411 went into his bank accounts. This amounted to £197,000 more than his declared income. These payments are the proceeds of organised crime; they are drugs money.”
To squirrel away the money, Killick paid cash into his mother’s bank account and asked her to transfer sums of money to accounts he held in the United States and Costa Rica, and to pay a $35,000 dollar deposit on a property in Costa Rica for him.
But Southern insisted that she believed the money had come from him being paid in cash for work he did, and that she had no idea about his drug-dealing activities or that that was the source of the cash.
Also to be sentenced with Killick and Wright are Edgar, 44, of William Street, Rugby, at the time, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis, Stephen Cleaver, Jasveer Singh and Anthony Harte.
Cleaver, 43, of Railway Terrace, Rugby, has pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis at his flat, which was owned by Killick, in June 2012.
Singh, 37, of Bawnmore Road, Bilton, Rugby, and Harte, 40, of Mile Lane, Coventry, have admitted separate charges of permitting premises to be used for the cultivation of cannabis.