Dealer's stepdad jailed for storing cutting agent
PUBLISHED: 17:20 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 17:20 17 October 2016
Mechanic Gary Embley was recruited by his stepson Leon Butt, who used his Topsham- based removals business as a cover for a drug dealing operation.Embley, aged 60, of Omaha Drive, Exeter, denied conspiracy to supply amphetamines between April 2014 and March 2015 but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court at a trial in August.
He was jailed for three years and six months.
The stepfather of a large scale drug dealer from Topsham has joined him in prison after he joined in his plot to sell 50 kilograms of amphetamines on the streets of Exeter.
Mechanic Gary Embley was recruited by his stepson Leon Butt, who used his Topsham- based removals business as a cover for a drug dealing operation.
Embley helped Butt by picking up 25 kilograms of lactose powder from a warehouse near Liverpool and bringing it back to Devon, where it was going to be mixed 50/50 with amphetamines.
Embley also had a vacuum packing machine and a press in his garage which could have been used in preparing drugs for sale for up to £175,000.
He tried to tip off Butt when his home was raided but was too late because police searched several homes around Exeter at the same time in a carefully coordinated operation.
Embley, aged 60, of Omaha Drive, Exeter, denied conspiracy to supply amphetamines between April 2014 and March 2015 but was found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court at a trial in August.
He was jailed for three years and six months by Recorder Mr Philip Mott, QC, who told him: “There is no doubt you knew what the lactose and the vacuum sealer were to be used for and gave assistance by collecting and storing them.
“The size of a lactose bag shows you knew the scale of the operation. There were 25 kilograms of lactose and if they were mixed with 25 kilograms of amphetamines it would have produced 50 kilograms with a street value of £175,000.
“You were not a drug user and were doing this for financial gain. Yours could not be described as a lesser role.”
During the case the jury heard how Embley was part of a network of trusted family and friends who helped reduce the risk of discovery by keeping different elements of the operation apart in separate locations in and around Exeter.
His garage at Durham Close, Exeter, was searched during a co-ordinated police operation in March 2015 during which drugs, cash and packing equipment were seized.
The other raids were at Hill Barton Lane, Galahad Close, and Pellinore Road in Exeter, High Street, Topsham, and a unit at Woodbury Salterton.
Embley’s role was to store a 25 kilogram sack of lactose which was to be used to cut amphetamines so as to increase the profit.
His garage also contained a vacuum packing machine and a broken hydraulic press, which could have been used to compact drugs if it had been repaired.
Embley claimed he got the press from a skip at a garage where he used to work and got the vacuum machine and the lactose from a firm in Warrington without knowing what they were.
Butt, aged 42, of High Street, Topsham, was jailed for nine and a half years by the same judge at Exeter Crown Court in February after he admitted conspiracy to supply amphetamines and cocaine.
Miss Emily Cook, defending, said Embley has spent 493 days on a tagged curfew which will count against his sentence and urged the judge to consider suspending the sentence so Embley could care for his frail 89-year-old father.