Idle man is jailed after £80,000 of drugs found in car

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Steven Tatum Steven Tatum

A Bradford drug dealer, previously jailed for 11 years in connection with a £1.4 million heroin haul, was found to have a kilogramme of cocaine valued at about £80,000 in the glovebox of his car when stopped by police on the M62, a court heard yesterday.

Police stopped Steven Tatum at about 11.30am on December 18 between junction 33 and 34 and discovered the cocaine in two packages in the glovebox. They also seized 27 grammes of crack cocaine valued at £1,112.

Marie Austin-Walsh prosecuting at Leeds Crown Court, said Tatum was jailed for 11 years in 2004 in for a case involving 14 kilogrammes of heroin.

Tatum, 35, of Bradford Road, Idle, admitted two charges of possession with intent to supply.

Jailing him for six years, Recorder Lindy Armitage said there had to be a lengthy sentence for another serious drug case, given the “harm it causes to persons who as a result of your activities are able to pursue their own drug habits.”

In mitigation, Tatum’s counsel Francis Dunning said he had been in financial difficulties and was acting for someone else by taking the drug from Bradford to South Cave near Hull.

Mr Dunning told the court Tatum realised he was going to receive another long sentence but insisted he was the courier rather than a supplier.

“There is a difference between that arrangement and somebody who is wholesaling it or retailing it,” said Mr Dunning.

Tatum was jailed in 2004 after police found 14 kilograms of heroin, packaged in block form, in a briefcase in the cellar of a house in Snowden Road, Wrose, Shipley, the previous December.

The court was then told the drugs were worth more than £200,000 in that form but when cut and diluted, the street value would have been more than £1.4m.

Police also discovered equipment in the cellar for cutting and mixing the drugs, including a press for compressing the heroin.

The walls, floors and ceiling of the cellar were covered in heroin dust and officers had to wear protective suits and masks to avoid getting contaminated during a 24 hour operation to recover evidence, the court was told.

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