A broken tail light has led to a Thanet father and his son being jailed for dealing cocaine and thousands of pounds of suspected criminal profits being seized.
Appearing at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday (June 15), Gary Benson,30, of Ethlebert Terrace, Margate, was sentenced to a total of three years and nine months for possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.
His father Neil Benson,59, of Mentmore Road, Ramsgate, was sentenced to a total of five years and three months for the same offences.
They had both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how officers on patrol in Margate on January 26 spotted a blue Ford Focus travelling along Northdown Road with a tail light out.
Inside the vehicle was Gary Benson who admitted to officers that he had drugs in his car. A search found bags of cannabis and wraps of cocaine as well as approximately £4,200 in cash and two mobile phones.
A further search of Gary Benson’s home address took place and uncovered more bags of compressed cannabis.
Further enquiries led officers to a separate property in Ramsgate where Neil Benson was present along with £7,800 cash and a large amount of cocaine.
In total, the cocaine seized from both this address and Gary Benson’s car had a potential street value of £71,770 while a total of 1.5kg of cannabis was seized.
Detective Inspector Dave Cox said: “It was thanks to good old-fashioned police work that the Bensons, who profited from others’ misery and vulnerability, are now in jail.
“Drugs can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and the community and not only are the Bensons out of business, but a significant amount of drugs is now off the streets of Thanet.
“Furthermore, Kent Police will now look to explore the powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act in relation to the £12,000 seized by the officers who spotted that faulty rear light on Gary Benson’s car.”