Garage owner jailed for running ‘industrial scale’ drug production line in Stockton

A GARAGE owner mixed up in the industrial scale production of drugs has been jailed for eight years.

Karl Fry was allowing drug dealers to store their goods on his premises but thousands of pounds worth of product was seized after his home and business were raided by police.

The former serviceman was also found to have more than £6,000 in cash, money which was paid to use his garage as a storeroom for Spice and Class C drugs Pregabalin and Etizolam belonging to the dealers.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 31-year-old was remanded in custody for a month following his arrest in November last year.

Deborah Smithies, prosecuting, said the police raided his garage, Fry Family Auto Services, again in February this year and discovered industrial equipment used in the manufacture of illicit drugs as well as traces of heroin.

And while he was on remand a search of his cell at HMP Durham revealed he had two mobile phones with Sim cards and a Class C drug stashed away.

She said 5,000 Pregabalin tablets, 25,000 Etizolam tablets and five kilos of Spice were recovered during the first raid.

In the second raid, officers recovered more than 100,000 Paracetamol tablets used to cut with heroin and cocaine, a tablet press, blender and mixer as well as moulds used in the production of blocks of heroin.

The Northern Echo: Karl FryKarl Fry

Miss Smithies said Fry had a previous conviction for supplying heroin and was jailed for four and a half years in August 2011.

Fry, formerly from Stockton, admitted a series of charges including possession of Class B and Class C drugs with intent to supply, possession of criminal property, conspiracy to supply Class A heroin and possession of banned items in prison.

Paul Abrahams, mitigating, said: “He was a solider in the past and lost his way in life and ended up in drug dealing, which was a spiral he has found himself in.”

Judge Recorder Jamie Hill QC jailed Fry for a total of eight years.

“It seems that after you spent a month or so in custody you were released on bail and on February 11 a further search found three large pieces of industrial equipment, a press, a mixer and a blender, clearly it was being used to produce controlled drugs in tablet form on an industrial scale,” he said.

“You were being paid to store drugs and the £6,000 was payment for that and when the drugs were lost you agreed to the production operation being set up in your garage.”

A confiscation order was also applied for to seize the £8,580 that was recovered from Fry’s business address and home during the two raids carried out by Cleveland Police.

The Northern Echo | Teesside