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4 March 2011, 10:37
Police hit the jackpot when they stopped a speeding car in Leighton Buzzard and found 13 deals of cocaine wrapped in lottery tickets.
And when they searched the driver Steven Foster's family home in Houghton Regis they discovered a safe holding 90 more wraps of the drug and Â£100 in cash.
Foster and a 17-year-old were in his Vauxhall Vectra that police pulled over in Grovebury Road in Leighton Buzzard late in the evening of November 3 last year.
David Stanton, prosecuting at Luton crown court on Thursday, said the officers were suspicious about the way the teenager was behaving.
They searched the car and uncovered the cocaine which had been hidden under the rubber housing of the gear stick. The wraps, which weighed 8.5 grams, were inside a mesh bag used for loading detergent in washing machines.
The police then went to the Steven Foster's family home in Eddiwick Avenue, Houghton Regis. A removable safe was found in a kitchen cupboard. It was taken to a locksmith in Dunstable to be opened. Inside were a further 90 wraps of cocaine, weighing 50 grams, and the cash.
Mr Stanton said the Class A drugs had a street value of around £2,700.
Foster, 27, of Churchill Road, Leighton Buzzard pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cocaine with intent to supply. The 17 year old, who lives in the Houghton Regis area, pleaded guilty to possessing the cocaine found in the car with intent to supply.
Foster told the judge that he had been dealing drugs to pay for his £100 a day cocaine habit. He said any profit was going back to the person he got the drugs from.
He denied he had intended to sell drugs that night. He said he was on his way to see a friend who was fishing at a lake in Leighton Buzzard when the police stopped him.
Foster said he felt "horrible" for getting the teenager involved in the drug case.
The 17 year old said he had an addiction to cannabis. He said he had not known there were drugs in the until Foster had produced them and told him to count the wraps.
Phillipa Ellis, for Foster, said he was a father of three whose partner is expecting their fourth child. She said: "He had been made redundant in August last year and saw an easy way to find extra money." Since December he had been drug-free.
For the 17 year old, Anna Hamilton-Shield said he had a difficult background and had tried to commit suicide when he was 15. But she said he had been doing well on an course at college and was being put forward for the Student of the Year Award.
Judge Michael Baker QC jailed Steven Foster for 4 years saying: "I am satisfied your role in dealing drugs was greater than you admitted." The 17 year old was sentenced to 12 months detention and training after the judge told him: "You were in the car not just for the ride but as part of a joint enterprise."