A 25-year-old who posted £50,000 of drug money from Jersey to the UK has been jailed for four years.
Benjamin Hagin, who admitted to being a cannabis smoker since he was 11, sent the money to reduce his own drug debt.
He also supplied cannabis to a small group of individuals.
Having already admitted to seven counts of money laundering, five of offering to supply cannabis and a single count of possession, Jersey-born Hagin was sentenced by the Royal Court on Tuesday.
Outlining the prosecution case, Crown Advocate Chris Baglin said that police had searched Hagin’s town flat in April 2017, where they found drug equipment, a deal book, cannabis resin, £2,690 in cash and a package containing £10,000 in cash addressed to a property in Liverpool.
Pictured: Benjamin Hagin.
Interviewed by Police, he admitted that he had had a drugs debt of approximately £5,500 from buying cannabis. He had managed to reduce it to £3,000 by collecting and sending money but he would not provide any details of the person to whom he owed the debt or for whom he was collecting and sending the money.
Advocate Baglin said: “Hagin confirmed that for every £1,000 that he collected he would get £25, which would be taken off his drug debt.
“He said that he had assumed that the money he was collecting and delivering was related to the sale of cannabis. He did not think that handling the money would be as bad as selling the drugs for them. When the money he had collected reached £10,000 he would package this up and it would be sent away.”
Hagin said that he had sent £10,000 on five occasions, receiving £250 per package, which would be taken off his drug debt.
Adding the money that police believe Hagin received for dealing cannabis himself, Advocate Baglin said that the total drugs money handled was £60,480, equivalent to 4.4 kg of cannabis.
Defending, Advocate Julia-Anne Dix said that Hagin was not a sophisticated criminal. He had a good job and supportive family and girlfriend, who were present in court, but had succumbed to the pressure of debt.
Pictured: Advocate Julia-Anne Dix, who defended Hagin.
“He owed £5,500 and felt he had no choice,” she said. “He could not go to his family or the police. He said during a police interview: ‘I feel horrible. Being here is going from being trapped one way to being trapped another way.’ But he was actually relieved: the fact it was all over made him feel better.”
Sentencing Hagin to four years in prison, the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, who was sitting with Jurats Blampied, Ramsden and Hughes, said he would outline Court’s reasoning at a later date.
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