Drug dealer ran cottage industry from Welwyn Garden City flat

Lee Moran operated a drugs cottage industry from his flat in Osborn House, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City.

Lee Moran operated a drugs cottage industry from his flat in Osborn House, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City. - Credit: Google

A Welwyn Garden City drug dealer who ran a “cottage industry” from his flat has been jailed for three years.

Lee Moran, 38, was in a car in the town on February 16 this year when he was stopped by police. He gave a false name and said white powder they found was creatine, used by body-builders.

But prosecutor Stefan Weidmann said he was subsequently identified and the 39 grams of powder was found to be amphetamine. There was also crack cocaine in his car.

During a search of his home the police discovered 76 grams of cocaine, mostly in powder form. The total value of the cocaine was between £2,750 and £3,630.

At St Albans Crown Court, Mr Weidmann said: “It was the model of a drug dealer’s address. There was a tick list in a diary, a blow torch behind the door, which could be barricaded from the inside. There was body armour under a bed, £645 cash, a bulking agent and two sets of scales.”

Moran of Osborn House, Howardsgate, Welwyn Garden City pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing Class A drugs with intent, possessing a Class B drug and possessing criminal property.

Defending, James Caldwell said: “He was buying one ounce amounts from a local dealer at a market rate. He would split it up and sell it on.

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“It was his own cottage industry. There was no involvement of anyone else like runners.”

He said Moran became involved in drugs when he lost his job as a heating engineer during the pandemic. He became addicted to amphetamine, but since being remanded has rid himself of the drug.

Jailing him, Recorder David Mayall said: “On 16th February this year you were stopped in your car. Your home was searched and you were in possession of a large quantity of cocaine.

“It was quite clear you had been dealing drugs as shown by your diaries. I accept it was your own operation - you did not involve any runners.”

The drugs, paraphernalia and the body armour are to be forfeited and destroyed.