Man found with over $100k worth of cocaine claims he's an essential worker

Culture 14/04/2020

Mark Quinlivan | Newshub

A UK man who was arrested after being found with NZ$117,000 in his car tried to claim he was an essential worker, police say.

Officers pulled the man, named as 26-year-old Benjamin Evans, over in the Welsh county of Powys early on April 6, during a routine stop targeting people flouting the UK's COVID-19 lockdown rules.

"The driver of the vehicle, Evans, was wearing high visibility work clothing and stated that he was on the way home after working all night as a key worker," local police said in a statement. "Acting on previous intelligence Evans was arrested for drug offences."

Police said a search of his vehicle found a large package wrapped in sellotape, later confirmed to have cocaine inside it.

On Wednesday, Evans pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs with intent to supply when he appeared in the Swansea Magistrates Court.

"This is an excellent result for the Ystradgynlais community. Trying to pass himself off as a key worker did not succeed," Det Insp Steve Lloyd said.

Police said the cocaine found had a value of about NZ$116,935.

"Possessing drugs with the intent to supply does not qualify as essential work," Det Insp Lloyd said.

"We want to let potential criminals know that it is business as usual and we will continue to pursue those who target some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."