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Wibsey and Pudsey men convicted of Bradford drug supply
Two men were convicted by a jury of possession of cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to supply after police busted a drugs factory in central Bradford.
They were bailed to be sentenced at a date to be fixed along with five men and a woman who have pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the flat at Silens Works, Peckover Street, Little Germany.
Ben Bateman, 23, of Sewell Road, Laisterdyke , Bradford, was cleared by the jury of all three allegations against him: possession of cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to supply and production of crack cocaine, between June 23 and July 8 last year.
He had told the Court he visited the flat with others to “associate and chill out” and was entirely innocent of any involvement with the drugs.
He said he took nothing away from the property and the only items he ever brought in were two bottles of Coca Cola.
Crowley was found not guilty of production of crack cocaine and the jury failed to reach a verdict on that charge for Smithies.
Judge Rose asked for probation service reports to be prepared on Smithies and Crowley.
During the trial, Bradford Crown Court was told that police smashed their way into the flat on July 7 last year.
They found a crack cocaine manufacturing business, complete with a 25-tonne hydraulic press discovered in a bedroom, to make it into bars to sell on.
Crack cocaine with a £58,000 street value was in a baking tray on the kitchen unit, along with a mixing bowl containing cocaine powder with a potential value of £102,000. Electronic scales, drums of bulking agent and women’s tights, used to store cocaine powder, were also discovered.
Prosecutor Adrian Dent said the flat was rented for the purpose of storing cocaine powder to process into crack cocaine “away from prying eyes”.
The police set up a surveillance operation using a hidden camera to monitor who came and went from the flat before raiding it.