Drug Dealer Finds ‘Golden Ticket’ Of £50M Cocaine Stash On Beach
If you're a drug dealer, you'd imagine that finding a massive stash of cocaine just lying around is like being a kid in a sweet shop.
That's exactly what happened to one 'opportunistic' drug dealer who discovered £50million ($66million) worth of cocaine washed up on a beach. That's not your average trip to the seaside.
Julian Underhill, of Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, took tens of thousands of pounds worth of the 360kg stash, comparing the find to 'Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket'. Oompa Loompa.
Underhill, 34, was quickly caught after news of his haul got around when he sent a text to a woman bragging about the fact he'd picked up more than a bucket, spade and stick of rock on his trip to the coast.
Prosecutor Martin Ivory said: "The defendant in his text message to another individual said that he had effectively stumbled upon what he described as 'Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket' and that he anticipated that he could be £20,000 ($26,200) to £30,000 ($39,300) better off as a result of that find."
The 94 percent pure drugs, contained in holdall bags, were rapidly seized by the National Crime Agency after they washed up on Caister-on-Sea and Hopton beaches in Norfolk in February.
Police believe that the drugs had been tied to buoys off the coast by smugglers but were swept onto the beaches after their ties were broken by strong winds and waves. Guess that's what you call blow.
Norwich Crown Court heard that 8.8g of cocaine - worth between £360 ($472) and £450 ($590) - was found when they arrested Underhill at his home on March 3, along with 853g of cannabis worth around £5,000 ($6,500).
Underhill told officers that he had found two 1kg packages which had already been opened on the beach after the holdalls washed up on February 9.
In defence of the event, Andrew Oliver said that Underhill was not a usual cocaine dealer, saying that he only sent the text to impress a woman and had used or sold around 150g of cocaine since his bonanza.
"He says he's effectively bragging to a female friend and it's of note that he doesn't want anyone else to know about it," said Mr Oliver.
"But these things being as they are, it obviously gets out because when one goes down the list of texts that Mr Hamilton (the officer in the case) identified there are clearly request for him for cocaine."
Mr Oliver explained that prior to this Underhill had just been a low-level cannabis dealer, calling him a 'somewhat pathetic' heavy user of cannabis and crack cocaine.
Oliver said that while Underhill accepted that he supplied and consumed some of the cocaine, the precise value he took may never be known.
Oliver added that Underhill helped to care for his grandmother and had a history of depression, having previously attempted to take his own life.
Sentencing Underhill, Judge Maureen Bacon QC said that he came 'within a whisker' of being jailed after he admitted possession with intent to supply Class A and B drugs.
Underhill, who is unemployed, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and was also ordered to undergo a drug rehabilitation course.
Maybe after this ill-thought out episode, Underhill should stick to the sweet shop next time.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS