42 year old Ben Michael Hargreaves of Dragon Avenue in Harrogate was sentenced to four years in prison at York Crown Court yesterday (17 May 2022) after he plead guilty to possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs.
The sentencing follows an 18 month investigation by North Yorkshire Police’s Harrogate Operation Expedite Team.
On the evening of 9 September 2020 officers spotted a man leaving a vehicle on Knaresborough Road in Harrogate and suspected he had purchased drugs from the vehicle’s occupant. The man was found to be in possession of cocaine. Officers then stopped the vehicle and detained the driver, Hargreaves.
Upon searching the vehicle, officers recovered a quantity of cocaine and following a roadside drug wipe, Hargreaves tested positive for cannabis. He was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and supplying drugs.
Following this, police searched Hargeaves’ house and found more cocaine, plus three sets of digital microscales.
Hargreaves’ phone was examined which revealed a large amount of drugs related content and showed him organising the importation of drugs from the United States, as well as discussions about evading customs and border control.
The drugs seized from Hargreaves were valued at around £1,500 if sold at street level.
Hargreaves was sentenced to four years in prison and disqualified from driving for five years.
Detective Sergeant Peachman from the North Yorkshire Police Harrogate Operation Expedite Team said:
“Hargreaves has received a significant custodial sentence at York Crown Court and this sentence reflects the severity of his offending and the extent of it.
“He was found to be supplying a Class A drug on the streets of Harrogate and the impact of this offence should not be underestimated. The knock-on effects of increased criminality to fund drug addictions creates misery for those trapped in the cycle of addiction and those people who live in their communities. Hargreaves was financially profiting from that misery and exploiting the addictions of his customers for his own greed.
“Despite his guilty plea at this late hour Hargreaves throughout the investigation has refused to accept responsibility for his offending. In fact his arrogance was such that he thought he could openly discuss the importation of drugs into the United Kingdom on his phone without being caught.
“I hope his sentence shows him and other criminals who supply drugs that they will be targeted and brought to justice by North Yorkshire Police.”