Sunday, April 14, 2024

Footage shows hippy crack dealer’s haul of laughing gas ‘party bags’ with canisters, candy canes and balloons alongside his ‘naughty and nice’ list of customers – as he is jailed for three years

This is the moment a ‘hippy crack’ drug dealer was caught transporting ‘party bags’ filled with cannisters of laughing gas, balloons and ketamine in the boot of his Range Rover.

Thomas Salton, 30, from Brentwood in Essex, insisted he just had Christmas presents in his car when they pulled him over in December only to find 60 small canisters, 48 one-gram bags of the Class A drug ketamine, and £39,000 in cash.

Hidden underneath wrapping paper and candy canes, officers also found a ‘naughty and nice’ with those customers the ‘naughty’ list set to be handed the drug-filled gift bags. 

A further 408 nitrous oxide cannisters and 965 grams of ketamine were later found at a property Salton was renting 10 miles from his home.

Today, in a landmark case, Salton became the first person in the UK to be jailed for possessing nitrous oxide since it was banned by the Government in November 2023

He was sentenced to 35 months behind bars at Basildon Crown Court this afternoon.

‘Hippy crack’ laughing gas dealer Thomas Salton has been jailed for 35 months in what is the first conviction of its type in the UK

Officers caught the drug dealer transporting 'party bags' filled with cannisters of laughing gas, balloons and ketamine in the boot of his Range Rover

Officers caught the drug dealer transporting ‘party bags’ filled with cannisters of laughing gas, balloons and ketamine in the boot of his Range Rover 

A photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of "party bags" containing canisters of laughing gas

A photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service of ‘party bags’ containing canisters of laughing gas

Salton insisted he just had Christmas presents in his car when they pulled him over in December only to find 60 small canisters, 48 one-gram bags of ketamine and £39,000 in cash (pictured is cash seized)

Salton insisted he just had Christmas presents in his car when they pulled him over in December only to find 60 small canisters, 48 one-gram bags of ketamine and £39,000 in cash (pictured is cash seized)

The CPS released images of the party bags that Salton was selling which contained laughing gas alongside balloons and candy canes

The CPS released images of the party bags that Salton was selling which contained laughing gas alongside balloons and candy canes 

Footage shown to court revealed the moment that Salton was caught red handewd and subsequently arrested.

The drug dealer appeared nervous and agitated when he was caught behind the wheel of a Range Rover on December 1 in Basildon, Essex. 

Officers are seen asking Salton what was in the car warning ‘honesty is the ‘best policy’ but the drug dealer insisted it was just ‘Christmas presents’.

Footage shows the police men rifling through Salton’s car boot, lifting up bags of gift wrapping and Amazon boxes only to find individual gift boxes containing cannisters of nitrous oxide, balloons and bags of ketamine. 

Salton was then lead to a police officer’s car where he was arrested on suspicion of intent to provide Class A drugs.  

Police said that Salton was in midst of a plan to supply a Christmas party with these drugs. Among the seized items was a ‘naughty and nice’ list of customers who wanted party bags with drugs in and those who did not.

Those on the naughty list would receive a gift bags with drugs and be required to sign a non-closure document. 

In court today, Salton admitted possession with intent to supply controlled drugs at Class B and C at the same court on January 8. 

Last November, nitrous oxide was classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (file image)

Last November, nitrous oxide was classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (file image)

He denied possession with intent to supply a controlled drug at Class A, instead admitting to a simple possession charge. Salton also admitted possessing criminal property. 

Detective Sergeant Stephen Robson said: ‘Our investigation placed Salton in the midst of large-scale supply to customers within the party scene in Essex. He was found to be holding large quantities of Class B and Class C drugs separated for supply purposes. 

‘Our later enquiries at his business lockup demonstrated the preparation behind this operation, with large quantities of illicit drugs stored for later packaging and supply in smaller quantities. 

‘This was clearly an organised operation, with Salton even going to the lengths of drafting a non-disclosure agreement for his customers to sign. 

‘This level of detail and organisation provided us with exactly the evidence we needed to prove his role in an illicit drug supply operation. It is perhaps easy for people to think that consuming these drugs at a party is harmless. 

‘In reality it is this market which lies behind the serious violence and exploitation of vulnerable people which goes hand-in-hand with illegal drug supply.’ 

Last November, nitrous oxide was classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Under the legislation, users could face up to two years in prison for possession, while those convicted of supply could face up to 14 years.

Alex Hinds, a prosecutor for CPS East of England, said: ‘The evidence against Thomas Salton was overwhelming and this case is an example of all parts of the justice system working together to get drugs and those who sell them off the streets.

‘The change in the law coupled with the actions of the police has allowed the CPS to present the strongest case in court and put Thomas Salton out of business and into prison.

‘Nitrous oxide is a dangerous drug and hopefully this first conviction will deter those thinking of buying or selling it.’

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles