A prolific young drug dealer has been jailed for a total of 27 months after admitting importing and supplying ketamine and cannabis to the island.
The Court of General Gaol Delivery heard that the arrests of Blayne Mason Quinn, 22, and co-defendants James Scott Pringle, 25, and Ivan Paulo Tangalin Hufana, 20, followed the launch of Operation Crosswind by police investigating drug trafficking and money laundering.
On August 4, 2020, a parcel containing a DVD cover with £1,550 in cash, which was being sent to an address in Liverpool, was intercepted at the Post Office sorting office.
Ten days later, a vacuum-packed parcel containing 349.4g of cannabis with a street value of £6,988 and 122.5g of ketamine worth £4,900 was intercepted as it was being posted to Hufana’s home on Murray’s Road, Douglas.
Hufana, who was just 17 at the time, told police that he had agreed to accept the package on Quinn’s behalf and was to have left it under a bench for collection.
Quinn’s fingerprints were found on the intercepted DVD.
He was arrested at his then-girlfriend’s house in Douglas. A search warrant was executed at his home in Archallagan Terrace, Foxdale.
Analysis of Quinn’s mobile and Snapchat messages revealed evidence of his significant involvement in supplying ketamine and cannabis including one deal where profits of £1,800 were expected.
Quinn’s sentencing related to drug deals worth £16,815, although a proceeds of crime application gave a much higher figure with the defendant having benefited to the tune of some £111,286 from his criminal activity, of which some £90,000 related specifically to drug dealing. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of being concerned in the production of class B drugs and two charges of attempted possession with intent to supply. These related to the package seized on August 14, 2020.
Quinn also admitted one charge of being concerned in the supply of ketamine and three of cannabis between March 2017 and August 2020 and one count of money laundering relating to the cash found in the intercepted DVD package.
The court heard that some of offences were committed while he was serving a 22-month suspended sentence for supplying class A drugs.
Prosecutor James Robinson said: ‘He simply carried on dealing.’
Quinn’s defence advocate Stephen Wood rejected Mr Robinson’s description of Quinn as a prolific dealer.
He said: ‘He is not some kind of spider sat in the middle of his web with long-reaching fingers in the drugs net.’
Mr Wood said his client was not the ‘head honcho’ of a crime network but ‘a minnow, a dumb kid’ who had got involved in drug dealing with some of his friends.
He said he had ‘changed his spots’ since his conviction and now had a good job and was remorseful of his past life as a dealer.
Deemster Hopmeier jailed Quinn for a total of 27 months including seven months relating to the breach of the earlier suspended sentence.
The Deemster said this was the least sentence which was in his judgment appropriate.
‘There may be some who say that’s too lenient,’ he observed.
He told the defendant: ‘You should be thoroughly ashamed of the distress and hurt your actions have caused to those who love and care for you.’
He added: ‘The message must go out that those who voluntarily involve themselves as parties in the commercial supply of prohibited drugs will face severe penalties.’
The court heard Quinn’s recoverable assets were just £2,283 and he was given two months to pay that sum.
Pringle’s role, a lesser one involving the supply of small amounts of cannabis to friends, was identified through messages on Quinn’s mobile phone.
Pringle, of Cronk Drean, Douglas, admitted one charge of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
He was handed an eight-month sentence suspended for 18 months by Deemster Hopmeier and given three months to repay the £3,300 which the Crown said was the sum of his benefit from his criminal activity.
Hufana admitted the same four offences as Quinn relating to the package seized on August 14, 2020.
He received a nine-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Having benefited from his criminal activity to the tune of £1,418 and with no available assets, he was ordered to pay just £1 to court.
Deemster Hopmeier queried why the amounts of drug dealing for the purposes of sentencing were much lower than those considered for the proceeds of crime application.
Prosecutor Linda Watts said: ‘That’s not uncommon in this jurisdiction I’m afraid.’
She explained that the proceeds of crime investigation following Quinn’s conviction had been thorough.