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Court News : Money seized from drug dealer is given to charity

A Derry charity is set to benefit after a drug dealer was convicted at the local crown court.

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A Derry charity is set to benefit after a drug dealer was convicted at the local crown court.

Christopher Langmead, 27, was jailed for three years and three months after pleading guilty to five offences.

Langmead, from Rainey Court in Magherafelt, deposited £166,143 into one of his accounts to run what Judge Philip Babington described as 'a cannabis operation of quite some size for one person'.

The judge ordered £570 found in the washing machine in Langmead's washing machine when his home was searched by the police should be paid to Foyle Search and Rescue.

Langmead, who had two previous convictions for drugs, bought cannabis from his supplier in England.

He pleaded guilty to committing five drugs offences, all of them involving cannabis, and guilty to committing three money laundering offences, between September 2017 and February of last year.

He was caught when two packages addressed to him were seized by the police at the Mallusk Royal Mail Depot in Belfast on January 28, 2019. The packages contained eight-three grams of cannabis.

An investigation was carried out into Langmead's financial affairs and it showed he was operating accounts at Lloyds Bank, Monzo Bank, the Halifax, the Nationwide and Coinbase U.K. Limited, which was a bit coin account.

Bank records indicated that between September 2017 and February 2019 Langmead deposited a total of £166,143 into his Lloyds account.

There was also evidence of money transfers from his Lloyds account to the other accounts held by him.

During his police interviews, Langmead told the officers that the cash seized from him had been money he had been paid as stud fees for his dogs.

Judge Babington said the offending by Langmead, who has been assessed as posing a high likelihood of re-offending, was aggravated by the fact that it was blatantly for commercial gain and went on for seventeen months.

"The money laundering counts show that between September 2017 and February 2019 he paid into his Lloyds bank account over £166,000, which were the proceeds of sales relating to his drug dealing, much of which was being later paid to his supplier in England.

"It is also clear that there was no little sophistication being used as one of the accounts, that with Coinbase UK Limited, was in fact a bit coin account.

"Evidence was discovered showing that he had purchased £36,593 worth of bitcoin between August 2018 and February 2019.

The defendant said that this was set up because his supplier wanted that, but that is no excuse. He willingly entered into that arrangement and by setting up this account showed he knew what he was doing."

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